Hammond “It Starts Tonight”

Nottingham RFC face Coventry tonight at Lady Bay as second-bottom tenth play ninth in an RFU Championship proverbial eight pointer.

Coventry sit eleven points ahead of the Archers having played a game more this season and a best case scenario win (with bonus point) could see Craig Hammond’s men reduce that deficit to just six points with a match in hand.

However, should the away side come away with victory this evening, the gap could be stretched to as much as sixteen points and with just five games for Nottingham to play for the remainder of the season following tonight, it could be a bridge too far to catch those above them and instead may reduce them to survival against bottom placed London Scottish in trying to avoid the wooden spoon, and ultimately, relegation to the third tier of English rugby.

London Scottish are currently on eleven points and sit adrift of Nottingham who will be hoping not to be drawn into a scrap with the bottom placed team, winning against Coventry will certainly give the side confidence and much-needed points going into the final few weeks of the season.

The returning Michael Stronge and Carl Kirwan will indeed boost the Green and Whites cause and after recent improved performances against some of the top sides in the division, Nottingham will be hoping to right their 12-25 defeat at Butts Park Arena earlier in the season.

Coach Hammond stating “We showed some real good stuff both sides of the ball Friday night, scoring five tries, really positive and some really strong defensive sets but although it was entertaining, we now need to be the right side of the result.”

“There’s great competition in the squad. Coming off the back of a strong performance at the weekend makes it hard to make changes but it’s been a good training week and a lot of people were putting their hands up for selection.”

Hammond continued “There’s still lots of footy to be played but having most our squad fit means that across the rest of the season we can ensure our training weeks put us in the best spot possible and with our most competitive players getting out there.”

“These next few weeks are crucial for us, playing against teams that are just above or around us, we need to ensure that Friday night is where it starts and we start coming away with some big performances.”

Adult tickets are from £13 and kick off is 7:45pm.

Starting Team: Toby Williams, Archie Vanes, Ben Betts, Scott Hall, Callum Allen, Carl Kirwan, Nathan Tweedy, Josh Poullet, Michael Stronge, Morgan Bunting, Harry Graham, Will Simonds, Charlie Thacker, David Williams, Jack Stapley.

Replacements: Storm Hanekom, Aniseko Sio, Josh McNulty, Jack Ramshaw, Suvwe Obano, Matt Marsh, Sam Hollingsworth, Joe Browning.

*Main image @NottinghamRugby a bonus point against high flying Jersey last weekend provides hope.

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