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Loader calls for mental strength
SWINDON coach Neil Loader believes getting his players’ mentality right is his biggest challenge this weekend.
Swindon host Olney tomorrow on the back of a week off, which followed two straight defeats which had seen the Greenbridge Road side drop to sixth in the South West One East table.
Olney have already been relegated and prop up the division, but Loader is wary not to expect an easy game.
“They will be coming here to play for pride, and it is our job to break their pride early on and seal the win,” he said.
“On paper I suppose it is an easy win, but as the cliche goes rugby is not played on paper.
“I do expect us to win, but I know we will have to play well and make sure we have the right mentality.
“That is the biggest challenge I think, making sure all of the players are switched on as they should be.
“As much as we say we are going to be focused, it is hard to make sure that we are.
“We will set our players targets for each block of 20 minutes and hopefully that will keep our minds on the job.”
Despite dropping to sixth, Loader is still pleased with his side’s performance and is keen for a strong finish.
“If we can take five points from the game tomorrow we can pretty much make sure we do not finish any lower than sixth, and that would be a good season.
“But we are still hoping some of the sides above us can slip up a little and we can move up the table, and that would be a good reward for what we have done this season.”
Supermarine will also be looking to finish their Dorset & Wilts 1 North season in style when they host Calne tomorrow.
Marine could potentially grab second place, but director of rugby John Godsell admitted that was unlikely given they are currently four points behind Swindon 2nds.
“Finishing second was our aim for a lot of the season, but that is looking like a little bit of a pipe-dream now,” he said.
“But whatever happens we will be pleased with what we have done this season, we have finished as the best first team which was our aim, and now we just need to wait and see what the RFU decide to do in terms of promotion.”
Elsewhere in the division, Minety host rivals Fairford.
In National League 3 South West Chippenham face bottom side Bridgewater & Albion, and Wootton Bassett travel to Marlborough in Southern Counties North.
Swindon College Old Boys host Chipping Norton in the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier.