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Canterbury RFC head coach Andy Pratt says National 2 South strugglers will be dangerous opponents over the coming three weeks

30 January 2014
by Alex Hoad

Head coach Andy Pratt

Head coach Andy Pratt

Andy Pratt has warned his Canterbury squad they will face some dangerous opponents in the coming few weeks as they prepare to face National 2 South’s relegation battlers.

The city club face the bottom three sides in their next three games, starting at second-bottom Bournemouth on Saturday, but despite having won six of their last seven games against sides in the upper echelons, Pratt is wary.

He said: “It’s going to be hard. These are dangerous teams we’re talking about, Bournemouth and Dings are away games which are always tricky and there is a lot of rain about at the moment which can make the pitches a great leveller.

“Those two and Exmouth are all fighting for their lives to avoid relegation. They are going to be passionate and we have to be on our game.”

Saturday’s 27-17 win over Taunton gave Canterbury a seven-point cushion over third-place as they continue to occupy the sole promotion play-off place in the division.

Pratt said: “Against Taunton the first 20 minutes was probably as poor as we have played all season. We managed to refocus though and played some superb stuff in the period either side of half-time which enabled us to win.”

He added: “The big bonus was that Ricky Mackintosh got 20 minutes as he comes back from injury. He’s going to be huge for us until the end of the season.

“He’ll be in the squad for Saturday but I’m not sure if he’ll be ready to start yet.”

Tom Burns and Charlie Harding are nearing a return but remain sidelined, Steve Goode is unavailable but Matt Pinnick (neck) should replace him.

Young city club stars have been included in the Kent under-20 side to meet last season’s National Champions Berkshire in the opening round of this season’s competition at Maidenhead on Sunday.

Wing Kwaku Asiedu and fly half Guy Hilton start while centre Owain Fussell is a reserve.

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