Sonics out to break Welsh duck
BRISTOL Sonics are aiming to bounce back from their heaviest defeat of the season by registering victory over a Welsh side for the first time in their history.
Karl Fearnley's side host South Wales Hornets at Whitehall RFC today (2.30pm), hoping to claim a first success in an Anglo-Welsh match at the fifth time of asking.
Sonics will also be hoping to kick-start their Conference League Three campaign following a 74-12 reverse at Hemel Stags last time, as their struggles with the transition from the regional leagues continues.
Fearnley said: "We've been suffering in recent weeks adjusting to the intensity and physical demands of Conference League Three, but every week we've been getting better.
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"I expect is to be in a position to really challenge the Hornets on Sunday, though it will be another very tough match.
"The last few weeks have been a steep learning curve for us. We've played arguably the four strongest teams in this league and come up short.
"Now we're back at home, there's quite a few familiar faces back in the squad and I fully expect us to improve dramatically.
"The rivalry between West Country and Welsh clubs in sport is such that our lads will be bang up for it. It's our most important game of the season so far."
Fearnley welcomes back a string of first-choice forwards for the game, including props Matt Douglas, Sammi Charad and Gary Carpenter, second-rower Wayne Cochran – who impressed for Sonics' seconds last weekend – and loose forward Joe McKenna.