A TRIP to Twickenham may be closer than it ever has been for Supermarine but to head coach Sean Millwaters it still feels a long way away.
Having won the Dorset & Wilts Cup just before Christmas, Marine face Gosford All Blacks in the semi-finals of the Southern Counties Senior Vase at the weekend. Win that game, and another three after it, and the South Marston club will get the chance to run out at English rugby’s HQ.
Marine have never got this far in the competition before but Millwaters isn’t getting carried away and refuses to think beyond this weekend.
“Typically of me, I don’t look that far ahead,” he said. “I think it’s the first time Supermarine have ever won the Dorset & Wilts Cup. We got to the final a couple of years ago but lost to Weymouth.
“It’s a game at a time. If we win on Saturday great, we can start thinking about the next one in a couple of weeks’ time. In the middle of all that, and I think it annoys the team when I go on about this, we’ve got Melksham to play so I’m not really looking at the week after.
“The good thing is I believe we’ve pretty much got 99 per cent of players available. We’re in a good position to put out pretty much our strongest team.”
Marine rarely come across Gosford in competitive action but they have played them in pre-season friendlies twice in recent years.
“What we normally do is get our stat man, Stu the Boot (Stu Dawson), on the case the week before so the info I’ve had is that they seem to have quite an old pack but a fairly young backline,” said Millwaters.
“If you look at the pictures on their website they have quite a big pack but a load of small blokes in the backline.
“It’ll be interesting. From what we understand from their match reports their forwards set up space for their backs. It seems their nine, 10 and right winger have scored the majority of their tries.
“Our average on conceding tries for the season is less than two per game. When you think we conceded six in a game and four in another, that’s a pretty good record.
“We’ve got the best defence in our league in terms of conceding points.”
In Southern Counties North, Swindon College Old Boys entertain Milton Keynes at Pipers Way. Old Boys are still yet to register their first league victory of the campaign.