Skipper Justin Burton is expecting a positive response from his Sudbury Rugby Club team-mates at Campion on Saturday.
Sudbury were surprisingly beaten 36-0 at Cantabrigian last week, their third and heaviest defeat of a so-far successful season, and Burton is looking to the players to bounce back against a Campion team flirting with the London League Division Two North relegation places.
Campion failed to fulfill their league fixture at Holt last Saturday - Holt were awarded the points - and must expect a five-point deduction, which would take them into the bottom two.
But Burton is not expecting an easy game. “If they field their full-strength side, we know they will be hard to beat,” he said.
“It’s their pitch, their place. I expect them to field a strong side, but we know what we have to do.”
Sudbury will be without Shaun Smith, who suffered a concussion during the second half of the match at Cantabs.
“He went to hospital, and they gave him the all-clear,” said Burton. “But with concussion you don’t take any risks, so he will be rested this weekend.”
Also missing is Charles Jackson, who is off to Australia for a couple of months, so director of rugby Graham Richards will be forced to ring the changes in the threequarters for the visit to Cotton’s Park.
Burton described the defeat at Cantabrigian as a “bad day at the office. It’s hard to put a finger on what went wrong. It looks like a bad defeat, but it wasn’t as heavy as the scoreline suggests.
“Cantabs shut us down in midfield, they shut us down very well, so we weren’t able to play the running rugby we favour. The only other team that has managed to do that is Saffron Walden.” Sudbury were beaten 19-0 there last month.
“We were also on the wrong end of some poor decisions. The result wasn’t really a true reflection of the game. It was a bad loss, but it’s not the end of the world.
“But we know what we have to do this week - pick ourselves up and get a win. We will have to go to Campion and play our game.”
After Campion Sudbury have one game left in the first half of the season, at home Norwich on Saturday, December 19. Then the league takes a two-week break.
“We have two games left before Christmas,” said Burton, “and I want us to win them both.”