Well-rested Cornish All Blacks ready for Hartpury
Cornish All Blacks head coach Spike Rainford expects his team to suffer no ill-effects from their postponed derby with Redruth before Christmas.
The Launceston club travel to Hartpury College this weekend for their first National League Two South game since December 15.
The flooding around Polson Bridge saw their Cornish derby with Redruth called off on December 22.
However, Rainford says his men will treat the enforced lay-off as a positive. "Not having a game for a couple of weeks is a double-edged sword," he said.
"Continuity is a great thing and we were doing quite well when the break came. But, equally, the players have had a chance to rest and recharge the batteries. It is a good thing to be able to do around this stage of the season.
"It is psychological thing, as much as anything. Those players are no worse for having a week or two off. We will put a positive spin on it, we've had a good rest, everybody is rested and we can go out full force for the second half of the season."
Hartpury are second in the Two South table after a fine start to their season. However, they were unable to beat the All Blacks on their visit to Polson in September, while Worthing have shown they are beatable on home turf.
"They have been beaten at home this season and we drew with them when we played them at Polson," Rainford said. "It is do-able for us this weekend. If we go and play our best game, then we've got a good chance. We have to be a bit street-wise, but, if we play the way we can, I don't see any problems."
Having won five of their last six league games, Rainford admits to being slightly disappointed at his side's position, seventh in the table.
"Ideally we should have been ten points further along than we are," he said. "We should have beaten Clifton and Chinnor at the start of the season, as well as a couple more bonus points along the way.
"That would have set us up for a really good run-in. Where we are at the moment leaves us within touching distance, and we have three out of the top four to play over the next five weeks.
"The draw against Hartpury earlier in the season was one of the things that started us on a bit of a roll. If we can have a good result this week, we will all be happy. If we can make good of those games, it puts us back in the mix."
Rainford expects to pick from a squad close to full strength this weekend. He said: "Lloyd Duke is out. He played in a Boxing Day game and did some ligament damage to his ankle – that will only keep him out for ten days at the most. Everybody else is fit and healthy."