Saumi looks for bonus points in Leeds replay
NAT SAUMI has told his Plymouth Albion players they have nothing to lose tomorrow when they take on Leeds in a replayed Championship fixture (2.30pm).
Albion lost the original game 34-16 at the start of January, but the result was quashed by the RFU after the match was forced to go to uncontested scrums after just 13 minutes due to the state of the new Headingley pitch.
Saumi's side did not even pick up a bonus point on that occasion, but now they have an unexpected and very welcome chance to swap no points for five.
Albion could certainly do with some points at West Park tomorrow after winning just once in the league in the last four months – a run that has seen the bottom four sides close in on them.
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"The boys have nothing to lose in this game," said Saumi.
"They just have to play to the best of their ability and try to put in a very good performance.
"If we can come back with a point, or even better a win, then that it would be great."
Saumi is aware the Leeds players will have been angry the result of the original match was quashed and that they have to play again.
"Nobody wants to be playing on their spare weekend," said Saumi. "They (Leeds) will be frustrated, but it is the same for us also. We have to travel up again, but the good thing for us is we have the chance to try to salvage something.
"And we are going there to try to get something."
Saumi feels his team just need to regain some confidence and self-belief.
He admits there has been pressure on his team after their losing run.
"That is human nature," said Saumi. "For the players it is tough with the way results have gone.
"But our target is the top eight and we are still there. That is what can give us belief – that we are still in the region we are aiming for.
"Sometimes you doubt yourself when you go on losing runs, but for me it is nothing to be worried about because they (the team) have not been playing to the best of their ability or to the way we are trying to play rugby.
"We have been trying to get accustomed to the wet conditions, but you can still play wide rugby in the conditions with good basic skills."
Tomorrow is the first of six away games Albion have in their final nine fixtures. After Leeds, Albion head to Rotherham then entertain Bedford before visiting Nottingham.
Saumi said: "There is a lot of tough games coming, but they are all tough games in the Championship.
"We will just keep taking one week at a time and keep working."
LAST night: The Championship: Doncaster 9 London Scottish 14