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Malvern eye winning habit
2:36pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
MALVERN Rugby Club need to rediscover their winning habit at Stoke in Midlands One West tomorrow (3pm), according to player-coach Alan Keylock.
The Spring Lane side have endured a mixed start to the campaign since being relegated from National Three South West.
They won their first game of the season 27-12 against Market Bosworth but have since suffered two defeats, going down 20-10 at Old Laurentians and losing 28-20 at home to Silhillians last Saturday.
In all three matches they led at the break but, in the case of the latter two, were unable to convert the position into a victory.
Keylock believes the players have plenty of ability but reckons the 2012-13 experiences took their toll.
The summer signing from Sutton Coldfield said: “Based on what I have heard, because I wasn’t there last season, the players had a tough season and lost the winning habit. It’s something we want to get back.
“In terms of skills, we were better than the three teams but they have played better rugby on the day and we haven’t played to our strengths.
“I would be very pleased if the game was played for just 40 minutes, we would have won all three matches. The depth and strength of the squad is highlighted after half-time. It’s not about fitness or passion, it’s just staying in touch with the game.”
Malvern, who are two places above winless Stoke in the fledgling table, have several injury concerns, including Owen Jones (back).
Keylock, a fellow back rower, is also struggling after dislocating his thumb last weekend but is hopeful of being among the replacements.
The former Worcester academy and Stourbridge player added: “Stoke are in a similar position with injuries but it should be an away win and I would be very disappointed if it’s not.
“We do have a few issues with injuries but hopefully after this weekend we will be back to full-strength.”
Malvern could also bring in a few new faces in the near future although nothing will be finalised for the trip to Staffordshire.
Stoke were hammered 69-10 at Lichfield last weekend but a 19-19 home draw with Kenilworth means they are third-from-bottom.
Malvern: Milton; R Jones, Mustow, Doorbar, Hale; Dixon, Southall; Hynes, Swain, Davies, Smith, Tisdale, Hobbs, Parsons, Anderson. Replacements: Dunford, Rambridge, Roberts.
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