‘Everyone will want to beat us now’ says Banbridge boss

Banbridge RFC are sitting pretty atop the table. INBL1544-275PB
Banbridge RFC are sitting pretty atop the table. INBL1544-275PB

Banbridge Head Coach Daniel Soper has warned his side that they’re now the team to beat.

Bann hit top spot in the Division 2A league table with last week’s storming win over Cashel.

And that makes them the top scalp, according to their boss.

Up next is a double-header against Ulster rivals Queen’s University, who deposed then leaders Malone last weekend.

Bann travel to the Dub this Saturday and then host the Belfast side at Rifle Park the following week (Saturday 12th December - both games kicking off at 2.30pm).

“When you’re at the top, every team turns up to knock you off,” said Soper. “Queen’s beat the team at the top of the table last week, and they have the opportunity to do it again.”

The December double-header is another feature of the new league structure and one that Soper knows will mean more work behind the scenes.

“It’s something different that we’ve never had before,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to really look at another team and their strengths and weaknesses in between matches. We don’t do a lot of that normally because we can’t afford to spend our limited time on it but this is different.”

Last week’s 28-5 success at Rifle Park helped Bann hit the summit for the first time this season and Soper is hoping he can keep his side attention firmly fixed on the job at hand.

“Of course you look at the table,” he conceded. “When the boys heard they were top, there was a big cheer. It’s nice to be there, certainly, but it doesn’t mean a lot until April.

“It’s a reward for our hard work and it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling but we have our targets to meet. We missed our target for the last block of fixtures but we’re ahead of the game for this group of three matches.

“My job is to make the boys forget about being top and to focus on what we have to do in each game.”