Old Albanian need to make it their day more often starting with Old Elthamians

Old Albanian's coach Gavin Hogg. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Old Albanian's coach Gavin Hogg. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Most of the challenges that face the Old Albanian squad right now can be termed difficult and Saturday’s encounter will likely prove exactly that.

The 21-0 loss away to Caldy left the Woollams-based rugby club second from bottom in the National One table in 15th.

Their next opponents on the other hand, Old Elthamians, playing in their first season at this level, sit comfortably in eighth.

They have amassed twice the wins and twice the league points of their hosts.

They have also notched eight bonus points to Albanian’s six while the number of points conceded matches the number of points scored.

This observer is not qualified to analyse data like this so no more space will be taken up with it other than to say it was an interesting lesson in record keeping.

But the future is quite clear. If they keep losing, they will stay in the relegation zone, it is as simple as that.

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OAs have not been as precise as they need to be in specific areas, including defence and the tight scrum.

However, in loose play they can, and do, compete strongly. There is strength, skill and pace in the backs, enough to match most sides on their day.

They just need to make it their day often.

There was improvement against Caldy which is a salve to the troubled mind but a slow start, not for the first time this season, which saw them ship 14 points in the opening five minutes needs to be addressed.

There has been what amounts to a selection lottery most weeks for the past two months and last week just 22 fit players were available.

Fourteen more were unavailable for other reasons although head coach Gavin Hogg believes his task may be easier this week, although nothing is definite.

Kick-off at Woollams is at 3pm.