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Canterbury RFC head coach Andy Pratt says National 2 South game at Ampthill will determine whether side are fighting for title, second or third

By Alex Hoad

Andy Pratt says he’s still not sure what Canterbury Rugby Club could achieve this season and only their latest crucial clash at Ampthill will decide whether their goal is the title.

Andy Pratt
Andy Pratt

Pratt hailed Saturday’s 44-29 win over National 2 South leaders Hartpury College as the highest quality game in Canterbury’s history, with the

second-placed city club closing within three points of the top.

Two late tries ensured a bonus point win – their ninth in 10 games – which consolidated Canterbury’s grip on the sole promotion play-off place.

It kept them five clear of Ampthill, who lost 41-36 at Redruth on Saturday but who, like Hartpury, have a game in hand on the city club.

Pratt said: “You can look at the table as much as you like, believe me, I have, but until the final whistle goes on Saturday, you just don’t know where you stand.

“We had regained a bit of momentum in the games leading up to Hartpury and we needed it all to come together on the day, which it did. We were excellent.

“The challenge now is to repeat that performance again on Saturday because we’re going to need to do it all over again and possibly even better.”

He added: “My job is to get the guys to think only about Saturday. There’s plenty of time to reminisce about previous games some other time.

“We need to concentrate on our own performance. We were at home with the big crowd behind us last week, Saturday will be Ampthill’s day, at their place, in front of their crowd. It’s going to be tough.

“We’ll take all the support we can get up there. Sometimes one voice in a crowd of 100 actually means more when you hear it.”

Crucially, Hartpury and Ampthill face-off in Gloucestershire on Saturday week (April 12), while Canterbury are playing their penultimate game at home to Bishop’s Stortford.

Pratt said: “We know they have to play each other and that means that one or both of them is going to have to drop points.

“The title is out of our hands right now so I’m not even thinking about that at the moment.

“The play-off spot is still up for grabs but what our ambitions are for the remainder of the season can only be determined when Saturday’s outcome is known.

“You can’t know what situation we’re looking at, whether it be the title or third or even fourth place, until after this game.”

He added: “I think fourth is the best we have ever finished so beating that is something for us to aim for but there is still a long way to go.”

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