PREVIEW: Moseley vs Bristol Rugby
GLEN Townson knows Bristol must improve their away form if they are to reach the Championship play-offs.
And he sees tomorrow's trip to Moseley's Billesley Common – a ground where Bristol have never won – as an ideal opportunity to make a positive statement on the road.
Since being beaten by Moseley on September 28, Bristol have won five out of five home Championship matches, but they have won only one of their last five away games in the league.
With eight matches to play in the regular season, Bristol are two points behind fourth-placed Leeds – and have trips to Moseley, Bedford, Jersey, London Scottish and Newcastle to come.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And lock Townson feels their away results will play a pivotal role in determining whether or not they reach the semi-finals.
"Our home record has been very good, but where we need to start picking up points is away from home," said Townson.
"We can't just say that winning all our home games for the rest of the season is going to be enough; we have to start picking up those away wins.
"It will be a big challenge on Saturday and the whole squad is very fired up to get out there and prove a point. We didn't have a great result against them at our place back in September, so we need to correct that and get out there and get a good result at the weekend.
"We've spoken about the record this week – the fact Bristol haven't won at that ground. The pressure is very much on us there, and they are a very difficult team to play against.
"But we've trained well this week, our preparation has gone well, and for us it's another must-win game. We have to go out there and pick up the result again to make sure we stay in the race."
After facing Moseley, Bristol take on Rotherham next weekend, before a British & Irish Cup game against Cardiff that could secure them a home quarter-final.
They then face a Championship double-header against two of the top three teams – Bedford and Nottingham – before a weekend off in mid-March.
The crucial, season-defining games are coming thick and fast, but Townson is relishing the challenge.
"In a way, it's good for us, because we're almost playing knockout rugby every week," he said.
"Provided everything goes as well as we're hoping, and we make that top four in the end, we'll have played a number of high-pressure games.
"When it does come to that semi-final, if we're there, which hopefully we will be, we'll be used to having to deal with that pressure.
"We're doing quite well at the minute but we've got to kick on. We can't just think we've had a couple of good results and that's it – each week is a new week and each week is a big week. We can't get too carried away."
And when it comes to facing Moseley, Townson said the 22-21 defeat at the Memorial Stadium in September – which came after Bristol led 21-5 – hurt as much as the heavy defeats at Leeds and Nottingham.
"It was our own fault in that game," said Townson. "That just showed that you've got to be able to play for the full 80 minutes in this league.
"I think the boys will be using that as a reference point on Saturday and we owe it to ourselves to go out and correct that."