RUGBY: ‘We must up our game’ says Bann boss

Banbridge are flying high at the top of Division 2A of the All ireland League and Head Coach Daniel Soper wants to make sure they stay there over the Christmas period. INBL1548-269EB
Banbridge are flying high at the top of Division 2A of the All ireland League and Head Coach Daniel Soper wants to make sure they stay there over the Christmas period. INBL1548-269EB

This is no time for Banbridge RFC to rest on their laurels.

They host Queen’s University at Rifle Park on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) in their final All Ireland League game of the year.

And boss Daniel Soper is demanding they up their game again to make sure it’s a very merry Christmas.

“Queen’s will be hurting from that defeat and we can’t be complacent,” he said after his side inflicted a 26-6 defeat on the Belfast side in the first part of the December double-header.

“It’s more than just wanting the same again.

“If we think that will be enough we could slip up. we need to get better and hopefully that will be enough to go into Christmas top of the league and we can enjoy our turkey that little bit more.

“It’s not the time to take your eye off the ball. It’s the time to kick on, get another result and try to open up a bit of a gap between us and the rest. That would help us after Christmas if we slip up.”

Soper’s plea for an improved performance could take some doing. After last weekend’s storming away win, supporters had lauded the side’s display.

“A lot of supporters said after the game that it was as good a performance as they have seen from a Banbridge team in recent times,” said Soper.

“It probably was but the boys worked hard and everything went for us.”

Bann currently sit two points clear of Malone at the top of Division 2A and also have a much superior points difference.

Last Saturday, they received much praise after their crushing defeat of Queen’s.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Soper. “We had to work hard and play well. It wasn’t easy and I won’t expect it to be easy this weekend either.”

Bann will be without Dale Carson this weekend, with Kallen Martin likely to come in as Soper keeps faith with his in-form players.