A’s taking no chances against bottom side Macclesfield

Ampthill's Will Goodge
Ampthill's Will Goodge

Ampthill entertain Macclesfield in National One this weekend and whilst their guests are bottom of the division, the second-placed hosts will be taking nothing for granted.

Director of rugby Mark Lavery said: “We’ve got three enormous matches approaching. There’s Macclesfield this weekend, then we’re away at Blackheath, then we’ve Hartpury College back at our place – three games that will define our season.

“Of the three, Macclesfield pose the biggest risk. They’re down there fighting for their lives and with only two sides getting relegated from the division they’ve been thrown a lifeline, and I imagine they’ll be grabbing it with both hands.

“We’ve struggled to find our rhythm for long periods this season, but we’re now starting to go through the gears.

“We’ve lost six games at home in four years, so we’re good up here – Mac will be motivated; they’ll know what’s expected of them.”

There’s a familiar feel to the Ampthill pack with just the single change to their front five, Karl Braband starts at lock alongside Paino Hehea in the second row behind Matt Collins [tighthead], Aleki Lutui [Hooker] and Brett Sturgess [[loosehead], Joe Bercis [openside] and Matt Burke [blindside] start on the flanks with Maama Molitika at number eight.

Alex Mitchell [9] and Joe Tarrant [10] form Ampthill’s half-back partnership with Stef Jones [12] joining up with Sam Hanks [13] in the centre; Sam Baker [11], Jonny Morgan [14] and Karim Lynch [15] complete the Ampthill XV.

Lavery added: “Sam Hanks is the second highest try-scorer in the division and bringing Stef [Jones] into the centre will add something as he’s an excellent play maker, not as direct as Will [Goodge] but, he offers options with ball in hand.”

Kick off at Dillingham Park is at 2:15pm.