Old Albanian trying to arrest away form

OA's win a lineout

OA's win a lineout - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian head coach Andy Holloway was in a philosophical mood ahead of their National League One crunch clash away to Richmond this Saturday.

On their travels across the nation, OAs have found little joy away from Woollams, with just two wins from a possible 12 all season – a matter Holloway can’t quite put his finger on.

“If I knew why we were more successful at home then I would probably be the richest man on earth,” admitted Holloway.

“It’s one of those great mysteries of sport but we can draw a lot of confidence from our vital win against Cinderford. If we cut down our mistakes and sort out our indiscipline, which was our downfall away to Wharfedale, I believe this side’s character will shine through.”

Richmond – one of the first clubs to host the legendary All Blacks touring side in 1905 – last tasted victory six games ago but Holloway knows his side are in for an arduous task this weekend.

“It will be incredibly tough,” revealed Holloway.

“We aren’t going into the contest thinking that they are vulnerable. We know their strengths and they have many.”

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In the last two seasons, the winning margin has never been more than eight points – OA’s beat Richmond by three points at home in November - and Holloways is expecting another close affair.

“They are strong up front, are solid at set pieces, compete fiercely at the breakdown and have an astute kicker in full-back Rob Kirby who can punish any indiscipline. So it won’t be easy.”

OAs sit six points clear of relegation rivals Cinderford and Holloway said his side are fully aware that their remaining games are essentially cup finals; but ones they are relishing.

“There is a strong spirit in the squad, some good nervous energy and hopefully that will put us in good stead for Richmond,” he said.

OAs will have to contend with the absence of hooker Brett McNamee (groin) and Richard Gregg but Lloyd Bickle and new signing Rory Teague will be in contention for Saturday.