Holt have sights on top three
Holt travel to Essex to play Saffron Walden in London 2NE tomorrow, hoping for an easier game than the home fixture between the two clubs in November, when the advantage swung back and forth before the hosts edged home 25-21.
Such close victories appear to becoming something of the norm this season at High Kelling, with Holt not clinching a 28-27 victory over Chelmsford on Saturday until the final minute.
The bonus point win – Holt having scored four tries – saw the home side move above Chelmsford into fourth, six points behind Woodford, who visit North Norfolk in April for the final game of the season, for what could yet prove to be the third-place decider.
Coach Ed Steed said of the win over Chelmsford: 'There was an air of confidence about the place on Saturday, not just in the players but the spectators also. This wasn't arrogance but just that, after the comeback against Enfield that almost saw us win that game, I think everybody thought we could get this victory and reverse the 16-8 defeat we suffered at Chelmsford earlier in the season.'
Fellow coach Penny Chapman added: 'Chelmsford are a good side, with a big pack and quick backs and they made us work for our win, which made it all the sweeter. The performance, determination and composure shown by our boys was exceptional and that's what really pleased us.'
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Saffron Walden come into this game on the back of a confidence building victory over Old Streetonians last Saturday, having lost their previous six. Despite this previous poor run of form, Steed stressed the need to be professional to get the job done, saying: 'We can't be complacent. We must remember that they are only one of two sides that have beaten the leaders, Walsham, this season, so on their day, they are capable of giving anyone a game.'
Holt will be hoping to have a strong squad to choose from and Chapman and Steed may well consider freshening things up to help keep the club's third place bid on track.
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Rob Grey will be vying for a start at second row following a successful run-out at prop for the seconds last Saturday. Holt will however be without the injured Tim Allen and James Leaper-Riley and the unavailable Soul Phoenix and Richard Justice.