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Reds hope for business as usual at fortress Rec

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

By Mike Baker

Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom. Picture: Simon Bryant

Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom. Picture: Simon Bryant

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Redruth's away form continues to be something of a mystery this season, one made all the more cryptic by their almost unblemished record on home turf.

Head coach Ashley Morcom is more perplexed than most, having searched in vain for a remedy to the Reds fever which appears to strike the minute they cross the Tamar.

He must have thought he had finally cracked the secret last weekend as his side took the game to second-placed side Ampthill for three-quarters of the match, before going downhill fast in the final 20 minutes and losing 38-17.

That defeat dropped Morcom's side to 11th in the National League Two South table, nine points and four places behind Saturday's visitors Bishop's Stortford. Not that he expects such a gap to change the way they go about their business at the Recreation Ground.

"Ampthill were a very good outfit but we stuck with them for 60 minutes," he said. "But then we fell by the wayside.

"We seem to be able to do it at home, and play for long periods. We certainly would say that the last 20 minutes at home is when we're at our most dangerous. So I can't really put it down to fitness.

"It might be a concentration issue, but until we find that reason, we can't really address it. We've been trying different stuff, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll be able to get it right."

One thing which Morcom admits does play in their favour at home is the vocal and partisan support of the Redruth faithful, which he hopes will once again provide the requisite tonic for what he expects to be a tough encounter.

"Redruth's been a bit of a fortress for us this season," said Morcom. "We've only lost to Cambridge at the very start of the season at home, so it's important that we get the crowd behind us, as that helps to spur us on.

"The style of rugby Ampthill played is very similar to how Bishop's Stortford go about it, I've been told, so we know what to expect in one sense.

"They are probably going to come down with the impression that we are going to throw everything at them, which we will. We'll give them everything we've got."

Redruth did not emerge completely unscathed from their Ampthill excursion, but Morcom admitted it was too early to tell which of the walking wounded would be up and running this weekend.

He said: "We've got a few with knocks and bumps, so we've got to make sure we manage them well. With such a small squad we can't be seen to be flogging players, we have to give people rests when they need them."

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