NUNEATON RFC face a must win game at home to Huddersfield tomorrow as they look to pull off an unlikely relegation escape in National League Two North, kick-off 2pm.
The Nuns are eight points from safety with 15 left to play for, but with all the sides around them facing tough looking games, victory on the main stadium pitch at the Triton Showers Community Arena could drag them back into the survival race.
Director of rugby Mike Umaga says his players must fully embrace the pressure and execute the plans they have been working on for two weeks since the defeat at Otley.
He said: “We’ve discussed the last few games without going into too much detail of where we’ve gone wrong.
“We’ve identified the fact that we are in a relegation battle.
“If the players don’t get that now then they never will.
“The message to the players is to do what we’ve worked on for two weeks accurately.
“We’ve worked on what we can do better, but the big thing is to be clinical.
“The players have got the ability to do it. I would like to be out there to help them do it but I can’t be.
“We want to give them that extra five per cent that makes the difference but they are young and this is their learning curve.”
The Nuns are boosted by the news that they should have a full squad to choose from — a rare luxury for Umaga this season.
Centre Jamie Barnard has overcome a shoulder injury and he will be looking to keep his place.
Nuneaton will be hoping to turn around the terrible run of form which comes after them finishing last season and beginning this season with top half form.
Umaga admits it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for such a collapse, although he does admit a return of just six bonus points from 27 games is a key factor.
“It’s a different league every season. For whatever reason we’ve not got the bonus points we need.
“Every game is tough this season. It’s all on the day.
“You’ve got to turn up in the right frame of mind whether you are first or 15th,” he said.
NUNS FROM: Brown, Cooksammy, Barnard, Cave, William, Nixon, Thomas, Roy-Smith, Taylor, Smith, Pateman, Turner, Griffiths, Dockray, Owen, Benjamin, Aston, Deery, Ryan, Ross, Douglas, Palmer
NUNEATON Colts are playing Kenilworth in Warwickshire County Cup final at Coventry RFC on Monday night, kick-off 7.30pm.
It is Nuneaton’s sixth final in succession as they bid to retain the Bob Coward trophy.