Steve Evans tells Redruth to learn from defeat to Hartpury
Redruth player-coach Steve Evans hopes his side learn the lessons from their loss to promotion rivals Hartpury College last week.
The Reds fell to a valiant 26-19 defeat at the Recreation Ground against the Students, who arguably produced one of the performances of the National League Two South season so far.
And while it might be easy to feel self-pity with their unbeaten home record finally broken, Evans expects his players to be better than ever against Canterbury this weekend. He said: "When you look back at the DVD, apart from little spells, we competed well for 80 minutes against Hartpury.
"Two or three of their tries were very good, but had there been another ten or 15 minutes, we might have come away with something more than just a losing bonus point.
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"From our point of view, we stuck at it for 80 minutes. We were 21-0 inside 30 minutes and it could have been a completely different game if we had caved in.
"There were so many good bits to come out of the game. We still feel like it will be good for us building up again over the next few weeks.
"We've got two tough trips coming up now. Canterbury away and Dings away will both be difficult places to go.
"Canterbury can turn over anyone on their day. It will be a long way to go, seven hours on a coach and the boys have got to be switched on when we get there. The week after that, we're off to Dings and although they are towards the bottom they managed to turn Chinnor over last week.
"Each week is getting a little bit harder now because teams are improving and everyone wants to beat us near the top of the table. It feels like it is always a difficult weekend at the moment."
The increasingly challenging conditions in League Two South means careful management of the players' fitness levels is required.
Director of rugby Adrian Edwards, and his coaches Ashley Morcom and Evans, decided to allowed some members of the squad extra recovery time this week.
Evans said: "We gave a few of the boys some time off on Tuesday because it has been a physical couple of weeks for them."
Evans himself will take some much-needed time to recuperate this weekend. He injured his knee in the early stages of the game against Hartpury last weekend.
However, he expects the majority of the same squad to be available for selection this weekend.
He said: "One of the boys fell on me and I've done some ligament damage in my knee. I will see this weekend out and then see how it goes but at the moment it is still quite sore.
"Up to now, we have got no other fresh injuries. We knew Lewis Vinnicombe would not be available because he is away but there is nobody else ruled out through injury.
"We have a full squad to choose from, apart from Lewis.
"The Pirates boys are still going to be with us. We have heard nothing to say otherwise at the moment. Tom Duncan is now fully recovered from his hamstring injury so he will probably play more of a role this weekend."