The Golden Fern are on home soil again this Saturday when they entertain Coventry Bears.
With just four games left of the Shield this looks another must win game for the All Golds who are aiming to finish inside the top two, to set up a place in the Shield final. Currently lying in fourth and with upcoming games against second placed London and top of the table Hunslet the clash with Coventry could prove pivotal in their quest to reach the final next month.
After a confidence boosting 40-22 win over North Wales Crusaders head coach Lee Greenwood is looking for a similar level of performance against a rapidly improving Coventry side. He said: “I thought we did well for most of the game last week. Our start wasn’t great but we dug in and didn’t let the game get away from us. That game is history now though and we go again on Saturday against Coventry.
“I’ve said before I admire the way Coventry operate. Both on and off the field they are doing things the right way. They’ve added a number of players since we beat them earlier in the season so they’ll be coming here to win. I think both teams are of a similar quality, they’ve lost a lot of close matches this season which shows how competitive they are. We know we’ll have to be on our game otherwise we’ll get beat. We’ve had some good battles with them in the three seasons that I’ve been here so we’re looking forward to another on Saturday. They’ve got a number of dangerous players that we’ll need to keep quiet.
“The players who came in against Crusaders did well so I’d imagine our squad will look similar to last week. I say it over and over again but attitude is a big part of this game. The players have shown how good they can be this season, it’s up to them to show it again on Saturday.”
Despite winning only three of their seventeen league games so far this season the Bears are not to be underestimated. Just a few weeks ago they came within a whisker of holding Workington Town to a draw only to lose out to a last minute drop goal. Tom Tsang’s side edged past Hemel last weekend so they arrive in Cheltenham in confident mood.
The last time the two sides met was on April 30 and it proved to be a fantastic encounter. The All Golds raced into a 10-0 lead playing a fantastic brand of attacking rugby but the Bears fought back and lead 12-10 just before the break. Three tries in eight second half minutes from Chris Barlow, Steven Nield and Brad Kislingbury gave the Golden Fern a 26-12 lead but the Bears made it interesting late on when they added another six points to their tally. Lee Greenwood’s men hung on though to record an important win.
Prince of Wales stadium, Cheltenham.