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Weymouth coach wants greater intensity
PAUL Harding wants Weymouth to rediscover the intensity they had at the tail end of 2012.
The head coach believes the Christmas break and several postponements have halted his side’s momentum and the only way it will return is through sheer hard work.
Since the turn of the year Harding’s men have lost three out of four in Southern Counties South, with their latest setback coming in the form of a 55-3 reverse at home to Trowbridge, just last weekend.
He told Echosport: “Trowbridge played some really good rugby at times but we made it too easy.
“Training has been good but since Christmas we have lost that bit of extra intensity and as a consequence we have lost that bit of edge and sharpness.
“We have got some tough games to come including this Saturday’s trip to Wootton Bassett (2pm). “We beat them at home earlier in the season but teams are a different kettle of fish on their own patch in this league so we need to respond quickly.”
Harry Charles and Craig Barter could return for Weymouth this weekend but Sam Morris is still out with a back injury.
Harding added: “Harry was unavailable last weekend so he could be back in contention and I am also hoping to have Craig back.
“Craig makes a big difference when he is there. Not only does he have that extra bit of quality but when things are not going well he isn’t afraid to mix it up and try something different.”
Also in Southern Counties South, Dorchester will look to arrest a run of three defeats when they go to Oakmeadians (2.30pm), who are just one place off the foot of the table.
Setbacks against Walcot, Devizes and Frome have caused Dorchester’s season stagnate somewhat and coach Martin Oxland will be hoping his side see off their struggling opponents with the minimum of fuss.
Bridport were taught a rugby lesson by Dorset & Wilts One South pacesetters Ivel Barbarians last time out.
And on Saturday it will be just as tough for Ricky Stubbs and his cohorts as they head east to fourth-placed Wimborne Seconds (2.30pm), who they actually beat 19-13 earlier in the season.
Following their Dorset & Wilts Two South victory over local rivals Weymouth Seconds last weekend, Puddletown travel east to play second-placed New Milton Seconds (2.30pm) for what will be, for most of the players and supporters, a first visit to the Hampshire club.
The Villagers inflicted a first league defeat of the season on New Milton when they beat them 33-11 at Greenfields in November and so have the opportunity of securing their third double in as many games, and in doing so spoiling their hosts' 100% home record.
Second row James Perrett returns to an otherwise unchanged Puddletown line-up.
Despite propping up the South West One East table, Swanage & Wareham have history on their side as they get ready to take on Windsor (2.30pm).
That’s because one of the few bright spots for the club this season was a 22-8 home win over Saturday's opponents back in October.
And the Swans may have lost their last five but Windsor tasted defeat last weekend when they went down 19-7 to Salisbury.