Kirkby Lonsdale head boy Matt Hughes expects players to conduct normal business with Kendal showdown looming (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kirkby Lonsdale head boy Matt Hughes expects players to conduct normal business with Kendal showdown looming
BUSINESS as usual is the message from Kirkby Lonsdale captain Matt Hughes as his side prepare for Saturday’s derby showdown with Kendal at Mint Bridge.
The Rams head into the clash on the back of a below-par showing against Carlisle, which was the Underley Park club’s second defeat on the spin after losing at Warrington.
Hughes insists the players’ focus is firmly fixed on producing a better performance rather than getting wrapped up in any hype surrounding the much-anticipated fixture.
“Derby games were being discussed at training the other night and from a playing point of view it is very much a case of treating these matches like any other,” he said.
“The history is obviously big between Kendal and Kirkby but as players we have not been part of that history until recent years.
“The current crop of players at the two clubs have never played each other so we’re just looking at it as another game.
“Having said that, I know in the clubhouse it’s the biggest game they will have ever watched so it’s a bit contrasting.
“But we’re just looking to put things right from the last two weeks as we have massively under-performed so regardless of who we’re playing we’re looking to get the performance right.”
Kendal are in the middle of a three-match winning streak and will head into the encounter in brighter mood, with Kirkby’s defeat to Carlisle at the weekend their fifth of the campaign.
Second row Hughes offered no excuses for the 13-10 reverse and insists over the past few weeks Kirkby have missed the opportunity to embark on their own unbeaten run.
“Saturday’s defeat was a major disappointment and it is now two poor weeks on the bounce,” he added.
“Warrington should have been beaten and without doubt the Carlisle game should have ended in a win for us as well.
“We just didn’t start and messed up straight from the kick-off and gave away a stupid penalty which gave away an early lead.
“The first-half was lacklustre to say the least and we didn’t get going until half-time when we had a bit of a re-group and second-half was a lot better.
“Plenty of chances were created and we played all the rugby in the second-half, it was just decision-making that cost us. We just couldn’t finish and the choices in attacking areas were terrible.”
Despite the Rams picking up a couple of knocks on Saturday, Hughes expects Kirkby to make the short trip to Kendal with a clean bill of health.
“There are two injuries to first-team players but we don’t think they are serious, they will be assessed at training tonight and then all being well we’ll have a full squad at our disposal,” he said.
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