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Lucs look to set backline free in Darlington
3:02pm Thursday 12th December 2013 in Sport
DIRECTOR of Rugby Alex Davidson, is looking to “take the shackles” off a Luctonians side coming off their heaviest defeat of the year.
Undoubtedly their toughest stretch of the season – facing the top three sides over four weeks – the Mortimer Park coaching staff are using the time to implement a wider game plan, in matches where the expectation is on their opposition.
However, a 69-10 loss at home to National Two North leaders Macclesfield is still disappointing, and, Davidson said, things won’t get much easier this week, away to second-placed Darlington Mowden Park.
The North-eastern side have a 100 percent record at home, but with an increasingly healthy squad and a changing game-plan, Davidson’s side will look to for a try bonus point and go from there.
“We’re going to let the shackles off and try and get four tries,” said Davidson.
“We want to play a little bit wider and look to get round the outside of the defences.”
The return of centre Alex James – who made his first start following a long layoff with a knee injury ¬– and the return to fitness of Geraint Langdon will give Lucs more flexibility in the backline.
Top try-scorer Drew Cheshire may also be available to travel, having made a good recovery from a lower back injury suffered against Otley, but with a key fixture against Bromgrove the following Saturday the coaching team may opt to give him an extra week.
“Alex’s passing game helps with what we’re trying to do,” said Davidson. “It’s good to have those options.”
Luctonians must also wait to hear the fate of prop Anthony Marfell, shown a red on the weekend, who attended a disciplinary hearing at Bromsgrove yesterday.
While going down to 14 men did nothing to help Luc’s cause, the damage had been done - outgunned, said spokesman Andy Douthwaite by powerful forward drives and a clinical offloading game that saw Lucs fall to a 36-5 half time.
Close-range tries from Mike Cheasley and Jordan Street rewarded pressure from the home side, but they will be looking for more at Darlington.
Travelling on the Friday night, Davidson added that the trip would give the squad a good chance to refocus and come together ahead of a series of fixtures that appear winnable, and increasingly important, for ninth-placed Luctonians.