POOLE v LIONS, PREVIEW

Tuesday June 07, 2022
LEICESTER face the ultimate test of their title credentials when they travel to Championship favourites Poole for a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions are five points clear at the summit after a run of six successive league wins, three of which have come away from the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

Those results at Edinburgh, Birmingham and Berwick have enabled the Lions to add a massive 12 points on to their total, and at this stage it is they and the Pirates who are favourites for a top two finish, and automatic progression into the play-off semi-finals.

But Wimborne Road proved to be a major stumbling ground last season for the Lions, who were eliminated from both major competitions at the hands of the Pirates, and on two of their three visits they fell to convincing defeats.

Poole have only suffered two league losses so far this season in ten outings, one of which was when the Lions triumphed 48-42 in a cracking Easter contest at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena, and the Pirates are on an impressive run of 23 unbeaten home matches.

Lions welcome back Connor Mountain for the trip to Dorset after his partner gave birth to their baby daughter over the weekend, whilst Plymouth’s Ben Morley fills the gap at reserve as boss Stewart Dickson seeks a replacement for Anders Rowe.

Dickson said: “I’d like to think we’ve done enough for a play-off place, barring a total collapse, but we won’t be taking our foot off the gas.

“We want one of those top two positions, which we missed out on very narrowly last season.

“Credit to the riders, because they’ve certainly exceeded my expectations so far, but there’s still a long way to go and we’re not getting carried away – it’s very firmly back to the 2019 ‘me’!

“It’s good to have Connor back because we certainly never gained from using rider replacement for him on Saturday at Berwick, we scored 1+1 from his rides!

“We’re on a good run now, and we look forward to going to Poole on Wednesday.”

Poole’s closest home match of the season so far came last Wednesday when they beat Edinburgh 49-41, and they have declared a full-strength side although Steve Worrall missed his abandoned Premiership match at Wolverhampton on Monday due to a collarbone injury.

POOLE: Danny King, Zach Cook, Steve Worrall, Ben Cook, Richard Lawson, Drew Kemp, Nathan Ablitt.
LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Connor Mountain, Richie Worrall, Joe Thompson, Kyle Howarth, Ben Morley, Dan Thompson.




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