SWINDON Storm head coach Steve Bennett is expecting a close contest when his side take on Bournemouth Bobcats tomorrow.
The two teams meet at Supermarine for a game which kicks off at 2.30pm, having each won one of the two clashes between the sides last season.
Bennett has noted a significant change in philosophy from the Bobcats side he and his side took on during their first competitive season, and believes the contest should be a close one.
“Last season we beat them in the opening game but then they beat us in the penultimate game, so it was pretty even,” he said.
“They’ve come back completely rejuvenated from last season and are a very different team, and they’ve only loss one game to the division leaders.
“They are in a lot stronger position but we’ve done our homework on them and have trained twice this week to prepare ourselves for the game.
“It should be a very interesting game because we match up really well on paper, so it should be a close score either way.
“They have a stingy defence and a strong running game so it should be one to watch.”
Bennett is also looking forward to renewing a friendly rivalry with a former teammate tomorrow.
“The head coach and founder of Bournemouth Bobcats is Tim Iles, who I played with at Plymouth in 1998, so we pretty much started our playing careers together.
“Since then he’s gone to Bournemouth and started a team and I’ve gone to Swindon and started a team so there’s a nice story there I think.
“We’ve kept in contact a bit and there’s a good spirit between the staff at both teams, we always try and share best practice and game tape and things like that.
“Tim and I have shared some film in the lead up to this game to help both teams evaluate and to improve our standards.
“Tim has taken over as head coach now having previously not being involved in the coaching, and he plays too so it’s going to be really good to see him.”