Holt coach Ed Steed ready for a tough battle up front
Holt travel to Enfield Ignatians in London 2NE tomorrow boosted by their 14-10 derby victory over Lowestoft and Yarmouth.
Holt will be looking for their third double of the season, having beaten Enfield 15-8 at High Kelling in November, but know they will be in for a difficult game. Their opponents have won five from six at home while winning only two from nine away.
Enfield come into the match on the back of a confidence building away victory over Old Streetonians, who were responsible for their one home defeat earlier in the season. Holt coach Ed Steed said: 'Enfield will be very dangerous. They have an excellent home record and are proud of their reputation as a great scrummaging side. At our place we won this area of the game hands down and I know this still rankles with them and they will be looking to change this on Saturday.
'They have a large mobile pack and whilst we had the upper hand in the scrum they caused us a lot of problems at the break down. Obviously the key to Saturday's game will be which side dominates these two areas, as such, we need to start strongly and take the game to them on our terms. We will look to play expansive rugby but given the likely pitch conditions I think it could be all about the forwards, with a lot of physicality and big hits and a game not for the faint hearted.'
Looking back on last week's win, coach Steed said: 'It wasn't a great game, with both sides perhaps doing their best to lose it, but for us it was all about the result. To go behind, having never really been in trouble and fight our way back to win, shows real strength of character.'
The only downside to what was a very physical encounter was the number of players unable to take part in contact training on Tuesday and a large injury list for physio Andy Siddall, with James Leeper-Riley, Ashley Woods and Bruce Van Poortvliet amongst those needing treatment.
Brett Stanforth, still carrying a shoulder injury sustained in the Braintree defeat, and centre Adam Loane are certain to be unavailable, as are Richard Justice and Sol Phoenix. The vastly experienced Jake Van Poortvliet will return at hooker to counter Enfield's forward threat with Tim Allen resuming at six and Ben Girling likely to get the nod at scrum-half. Stuart Robson could be vying for a starting berth, while fit-again Sammy Wright could find himself included on the bench.
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