RUGBY UNION: Banbridge must react to get title tilt on track

Banbridge's Josh Cromie is available again alongside Andrew Magrath. INBL1602-241PB
Banbridge's Josh Cromie is available again alongside Andrew Magrath. INBL1602-241PB
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Banbridge RFC Head Coach Daniel Soper is demanding a reaction from his players after a disappointing performance last weekend.

The second half of the All Ireland League season kicks off as Highfield visit Rifle Park on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm). Still fresh in Bann’s mind is the 26-15 away defeat to the same opposition in their last Division 2A fixture in December.

Soper knows that if that is to be reversed, his side need to improve on their display during last weekend’s Soni Premiership win over Dungannon.

“The players were forcefully reminded just how important the next two games are so hopefully we’ll get a reaction,” he said.

Bann are, of course, aiming for the title and with it promotion to Division 1B although are currently sitting a point behind leaders Nenagh.

His squad are all approaching fitness to aid the campaign with young half-back combination Andrew Magrath and Josh Cromie back in action last Saturday.

“With so many injuries to the half-backs in our squad there have been quite a lot of changes in those key positions so hopefully our luck has turned in that respect and we can get a bit of a run with those guys,” said Soper.

“With Mike Bentley having had two games with the Seconds under his belt since his return and Chris Allen and Philip Jordan back in the frame, we have big decisions to make in the back five and that should bring out the best in the guys who are picked.”