Plymouth Albion look to end their Meadow Lane hoodoo
PLYMOUTH Albion head to Meadow Lane on Sunday to take on play-off chasing Nottingham hoping to end two unwanted records in one go.
Nat Saumi's side are desperate to end their four-month losing run in the Championship.
However, to do that this weekend they are going to have to claim their first-ever win at Meadow Lane.
Albion have failed on seven previous trips to come away with four points from the ground the Green and Whites share with their footballing counterparts Notts County.
From Monday to Friday,
Come and enjoy our special menu at £12 per person for 3 course-meal.
Not in conjunction with any other offers.
From Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner.
Subject to availability.
Contact: 01752 424381
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
The last time Albion won in the East Midlands city, Nottingham were still playing at Ireland Avenue.
"It is going to be hard," said Albion coach Nat Saumi ahead of this weekend's test against a Nottingham side sitting third in the table.
"They are doing well. They are always challenging for a top three or four position because they have a group of players who have been together for a long time now.
"They know each other so well. They have a very good pack and their set pieces – scrummaging and line-outs – are good.
"Every year they keep building, so it will be a tough game for us going up there.
"It is always a hard place to go, but we have got nothing to lose and we just have to go and play our rugby and just see what we come out with. Hopefully, we will come back with something.
"We need points. Every game we play we have to go for points. We have to try our best to win games."
Albion had a week off last Saturday but prior to that, Saumi's team turned in three positive performances against Bedford, Rotherham and Leeds.
The Fijian admits those three displays, where Albion scored 11 tries in total, has given his team confidence. He just hopes his side have not lost any momentum due to the week off.
"We've had a week's break," he said. "And sometimes when you take a break it can be hard when you come back to build the momentum from where you left. But, hopefully, after those three good performances, we will come back fresh on Sunday."
Saumi makes just one change to the team that agonisingly lost 28-27 to second-placed Bedford in their last outing, with fit-again Brett Beukeboom replacing the injured Fijian Rupeni Nasiga in the second-row.
Beukeboom missed the Bedford match with an infection. In his absence Nasiga shone against the Blues and Saumi admits it is disappointing his countryman is ruled out of the trip to Nottingham.
"Rupeni has had some fluids drained out from his knee," said Saumi. "He should be back training properly again next week.
"He has been having some big games. He's been playing well. I think he is slowly trusting what the players around him can do and also the other players are managing to read his game now.
"Harrison Tovey has taken his chance and done very well, so I hope Brett (Beukeboom) comes back in and raises the bar again so that competition is always high."
Herbie Stupple is again unavailable for Albion after suffering a head injury against Leeds a month ago.
Albion: Rhodri McAtee, Lewis Warner, Toby Howley-Berridge, Bevon Armitage, Tom Bowen, Paul Roberts, Ruairi Cushion (c). Jack Andrew, Jon Vickers, Lloyd Fairbrother, Brett Beukeboom, Harrison Tovey, Sean-Michael Stephen, Sam Hocking, Aaron Carpenter. Reps: Paul Rowley, Paul Bailey, Ben Rogers, David Morton, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Wayne Sprangle, Sam Matavesi