The Big Match – Frazer interviewed by Citizen

FREE-SCORING Drybrook’s near-flawless season counts for nothing when they enter tomorrow’s RFU Senior Vase quarter-final at Marlborough, believes player/coach Frazer McArdell.

The Mannings Ground club have blasted 15 straight wins since their season-opening 26-12 Gloucester Premier defeat at Whitehall.

McArdell’s men have racked up 137 points in their last three encounters, including their 47-13 Senior Vase victory at Devon side Teignmouth.

But despite that stellar form, Hartpury College further education sport lecturer McArdell thinks it will have no bearing on tomorrow’s clash at Marlborough (kick-off 2pm).

Not even consecutive 45-0 victories over Painswick and Gordon League leave McArdell expecting anything other than an intense battle against the Wiltshire men.

McArdell said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve lost now, and we’ve got a good run going.

“We’ve got a good team out tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be in good shape.

“Obviously that gives us confidence, but they are having a good season as well and they will be extremely up for this game as well.

“We can’t take too much notice of what they’re doing, they’ve been winning well too, but it’s always hard to compare leagues.

“What we do know is that they’re a very good team, but hopefully we’ll be okay provided we play our stuff and get into our game.”

McArdell coaches Hartpury College’s University second XV, along with Coney Hill backs coach Sean Lynn.

The powerful lock assumed Drybrook coaching duties for the last quarter of last term, admitting his day job has certainly helped his new club role.

Citing extra training commitment and the return of some old faces for Drybrook’s resurgence, McArdell said plans laid down in pre-season continue to bear fruit.

He said: “A few of our old players have come back, we have upped the ante at training and with fitness and skill levels, and it’s paying off.

“The likes of scrum-half Carl Moore have returned to the club, and that nucleus of players has made a real impact.

“We’ve got a good team spirit on and off the pitch, and that definitely helps.

“We did a lot of team building work in pre-season, we sat down and had a few meetings, to see what the players wanted to get out of the season.

“We decided then what we wanted to get out of it on all fronts, and I think that’s paid off.

“We have some good socials on the bus back from away games, and that helps bond the team too.

“The players have driven that forward, they have taken ownership of it, and they have a huge amount of personal pride in what we’re trying to achieve.”

Drybrook stand just two victories away from a trip to Twickenham.

Admitting gracing the hallowed turf is every player’s dream, McArdell said his side’s cup ambitions sit squarely on a level with their determination to win promotion from Gloucester Premier.

He added: “I think this is level-pegging with the league.

“I think it’s imperative that we get promoted, but also for the boys’ personal satisfaction, a trip to Twickenham would be incredible.

“Every player wants to play there, it’s the dream of every player in England.

“It’s a real drive for players to play at Twickenham.”