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Keylock: No Burton fear
10:20am Friday 1st November 2013 in Rugby
HIGH-flying Burton are not invincible, according to Malvern player-coach Alan Keylock, ahead of tomorrow’s Midlands One West rugby clash at Spring Lane (2.15pm).
The Staffordshire side have won seven out of eight matches this season and are only second to all-conquering Lichfield in the table.
However, Malvern were buoyed by last weekend’s 21- 19 victory at Berkswell and Balsall, who Keylock insists are stronger than their bottom- of-the-table position suggests.
Burton’s only defeat this term came at home to Lichfield on Saturday but Keylock believes Malvern can inflict a second loss on their visitors.
He said: “Burton are welldrilled and I know a few of the players there, but they are not in the same class as Lichfield and can be beaten.
“We have to ensure we play for the full 80 minutes — that is our biggest challenge. In the games we have won this season, we have played most of the rugby.
“However, when we have lost, we have been guilty of switching off between around 50 and 70 minutes before trying to come back in the last 10.
“We have learnt from our mistakes in recent weeks, though, and against Burton we can’t afford to give them a headstart — we need to be greedy in possession.
“Burton have done well so far this season, but we had our biggest scrummaging test of the season at Berkswell and Balsall.
“Their league position doesn’t do them justice because their pack is a real unit. It was a really strong victory for us, especially as we were underweight in the pack due to injuries.”
Malvern have a few injury concerns but Keylock revealed they are planning to strengthen their ranks in the coming weeks.
He added: “We have a couple of significant injuries, especially in the pack with prop James Hines out with a back problem.
“Number eight Jamie Anderson is also sidelined after breaking a couple of ribs, while centre Nick Miller is doubtful as he is struggling with a hamstring injury.
“Going forward, we are looking to recruit more players as we have been unable to put out our strongest XV yet this season and will need more numbers to cover for injuries.”