Albion began their National One season campaign back in September with the visit of London based Rosslyn Park. On that day, they crumbled to a humbling 8-37 defeat. They conclude the campaign with the return fixture and will be expectant of a more positive result following a reversal in both clubs’ fortunes.
With a sequence of bonus-point wins at home and four try narrow losses away, Albion certainly rose to their challenge with a strong run of form to drive the club clear of the relegation spots. On the converse, third-placed Park have seen their table-topping form depart as they slumped to the third spot over the last few weeks.
Successive losses to Blackheath, Caldy and Chinnor saw their title challenge falter and, although they rectified the slide with wins over Cambridge and relegated Tonbridge, they will not be keen to see the ocean cities finest arriving at their ground.
Indeed, last time around, Albion scored a last-minute winner to secure an unlikely victory and there is every reason for the faithful to expect lightning to strike twice after the demolition of Taunton last weekend.
Playing for seven weeks with a squad of seventeen players has galvanised the Albion players into a team to be proud of and, restored to a full complement of twenty, one to be feared!
On the selection front, bulldozer Danny Southworth returns to the loosehead after spending some time in the backrow, Ramaz Rukhadze shifts to tighthead to accommodate. They will bookend the red hot Jamie Salter who has scored seven tries in the last two games.
In the second row and fresh from his 150th cap award, Dan Collier packs down with Torin Clarke who has enjoyed a breakthrough season that has seen him become a mainstay of the pack during the strong run.
Fresh from holiday, George Mills returns to the backrow alongside long time accomplice Herbie Stupple and they are joined by the hugely impressive Max Norey who added some real grunt last weekend.
The Putt – Cairns halfback partnership continues after a near faultless show last week and they have real firepower outside them. On the wings, Chiefs academy duo Shea Cornish and Frankie Nowell will be looking to challenge the Londoner’s traditional strengths with some trademark panache!
In the midfield the hitman Jeremy To’a is once again paired with another impressive youngster Ben Cairns while, in his final game for the club before moving to Scotland, Connor Eastgate will want to finish his Albion career in style.
On the bench, Albion have a more balanced selection than of late with the welcome return of Henry Clement joining Alex Ducker (who is nursing a few niggles) as backline specialists.
Harry Wilkinson, Dan Pullinger and Warhorse Wayne Sprangle will look to provide impact upfront while both James McFarlane and Luke Chapman will be rightfully disgruntled to have missed out after fronting up over the last few weeks.
With five months before they start the 22/23 season, a win will go a long way to setting the Ocean Cities’ finest up for a well-deserved summer break with a real spring in their stride.
Plymouth Albion v Rosslyn Park