June 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 23, 2012
In-form Henderson back from England Counties duty in the hope to keep Barking’s slim National One survival hopes alive.
Barking head coach Tim Usasz was a mightily relieved man to see centre Andrew Henderson come through his England Counties match unscathed, as his squad prepare for a must-win clash at Cinderford this weekend.
Henderson featured from the start and set up a try in the Counties’ 34-16 win over their Irish counterparts on Friday at Preston Grasshoppers RFC.
And with an important National One clash ahead on Saturday, Usasz was relieved the former Jersey man came through the intern-ational match without injury.
“I had my fingers crossed on Friday that I wouldn’t receive a phone call saying Andrew was injured,” said Usasz.
“He is a pretty durable guy, though, who plays through his knocks anyway, but I was relieved he got through it in one piece, and set up a try in the win for them.
“Andrew has been an ever-present for us this season, missing only a couple of minutes in the whole campaign.
“He is a lad who keeps himself fit as well and doesn’t miss much rugby full stop.
“When he was with Jersey he was almost an ever-present as well.”
The Goresbrook outfit head to Gloucestershire this weekend, knowing only a bonus-point win will keep their slim chances of National One survival alive, while hoping fourth-from-bottom Wharfedale are beaten at home by seventh-placed Blaydon.
But Barking will come up against one of the division’s form sides who have won seven of their last nine matches and also have England World Cup winner Phil Vickery as part of their coaching set-up.
“Going into the game they are definitely one of the teams that are going through a purple patch,” said Usasz.
“Having Phil Vickery as a coach is a massive positive for them in terms of their set-piece and scrum play.
“But we know they are not the most expansive side and we’ll look to play on that.
“We try to approach every game much the same and the boys know it is a must-win match without us saying it to them as well.
“From our perspective the training has been more process driven rather than the results, as we haven’t had too many of them go in our favour.
“But the boys will have benefitted from the extra time off after the effort put in during the Jersey match.
“We made twice as many tackles as Jersey on that day and that had its effect with a couple of the boys nursing knocks.”
Apart from injured captain Phil Davies, Usasz will have to make calls on both second rows Rod Turner and Tom Burns ahead of the trip, who are assessed week-by-week due to recurring foot injuries.
Scrum-half Jack Gash is also available after illness.