It could be all in the mind as Oundle take on Corby

Corby and Oundle during their league meeting last season
Corby and Oundle during their league meeting last season

Oundle coach Peter Croot has called on his high-flying Eagles to get their minds right ahead of this weekend’s derby clash with Corby.

The sides meet in Midlands Four East (South) with differing form to back up their hopes of victory.

Corby, after three wins on the bounce in October and November, have since lost the same number in a row and have conceded 164 points in their last two.

Oundle, in contrast, have tasted victory in their last eight league games and are firmly in the mix for promotion.

However, they nearly came a cropper last weekend when rock-bottom Bourne gave them a fright.

And Croot is in no doubt as to why they had such difficulty in securing a 34-27 win against a side who have only a single triumph to their name all campaign.

“We must be a mentally strong side if we want to get promotion,” he explained.

“We have already seen other teams slip up through lack of focus.

“All the teams are improving, and we must play to our strengths 100 per cent of the time.

“You can have all the ability but if we don’t have the mindset and team mentality then we risk a banana skin moment.”

It could have been a lot worse, though.

At one stage they trailed 27-19 and it looked as if a huge shock was on the cards.

And because of that Croot could take the positives from collecting a bonus-point victory.

He added: “I was pleased.

“We did turn a disaster round and get the points.”

Corby arrive at the derby clash looking at things from a very different perspective.

Some good results, including an amazing win over then leaders Bedford Swifts, gave them hope of a more successful season.

But the last two weeks have seen them lose 114-7 to Long Buckby 50-3 to Old Newtonians.

It is not something team manager Ricky Egan will dwell on too much, though, as he believes the basics are there for his side to recover.

He said: “We had a good de-brief on Monday night and if we can put into practice what we have discussed – along with a bit of belief – we should be able to put things back on track soon.

“Although Oundle is going to be a challenge.

“The game (against Old Newtonians) was disappointing.

“We had chances to put scores on the board but failed to capitilise on a series of penalties in dangerous areas.

“However, one of our guys was talking to the referee after the game and his opinion was we presented and defended our ball extremely well.

“He even said it was one of the best he has seen this season. He pointed out the obvious points where we’re going wrong and we know what we need to work on to correct this.”

Elsewhere, Kettering entertain Newark in Midlands One while Midlands Two East sees Wellingborough head to Newbold on Avon and Rushden & Higham play host to Dunstablians.

Stewarts & Lloyds will be very keen to get their promotion campaign back on track following defeat last week when they take on strugglers Brackley at home.