Newcastle RUFC coach Dean Rodwell is confident the club can overcome Burntwood in their Staffordshire Intermediate Cup semi-final and secure a place in a third straight final.
The Staffordshire outfit have knocked out Saturday’s opponents in each of the last two seasons – recording resounding 40-point victories on both occasions.
But Rodwell knows despite the gulf between the two sides in the past, there is not a great deal to separate them.
“It’s a tricky one to call,” he said.
“We’ve gone up a league so we’re now expected to beat them.
“But they’re doing quite well in their league.
“They’re second in their league and we’re third from bottom so there’s not a massive gap between us.
“We’ve got a strong squad and it should show our strength in depth which we’ve worked hard to create.
“We’re going there to win and win well.”
Club captain Ash Martin is also wary of the threat posed by their trip to the Sportsway ground, despite their good record against Burntwood.
“I’d never underestimate the opposition,” said Martin. “We’ve been in this situation and lost before.
“They’ll be up for it so we’ve got to front up and be clinical.
“We’ve had some terrible away games but we’ve had some good away games too. We’re all rivals so we both want to put one on the other and form goes out the window.”
“It’s going to be a real test of where we’ve come as a club from last season since we got promoted last year.
“We’ve had players come back so it’s a benchmark to see how things have changed in the last six months.”
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