One of the most anticipated days in the Cheetahs calendar is almost upon us, as we welcome everyone to our annual Homecoming! The Senior team will be taking on Hastings Conquerors, a team struggling at the bottom of the SFC 2 South. This fixture was unfortunately cancelled last season on the grounds of player safety, though it appears that there will be no such worries this time around and preparations can begin for a day filled with food, sun and – most importantly – an important game for Hertfordshire as they look to draw level with Portsmouth in the division.
In the last meeting, the Cheetahs put up 70 points to Hastings’ 8. Things have not got easier for the Sussex side since, as they sit bottom of the division. However, much like the NFL, Britball can change on any given Sunday and the home side will be aware that they need to bring their A game. Rookie WR Tom McQuillin will hope to be involved again, having missed the previous game through injury. McQuillin opened his Cheetahs TD account in the previous meeting with the Conquerors and will hope to repeat the feat this week. Also taking his place back on the active roster is RB Adam Adeniji, who will need no introduction to SFC 2 South defences. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cheetahs are bolstered by the return of SS Ben Brown, who slots back into what has been a stingy secondary thus far.
OC Will Sparke highlighted the “heart and endurance that [Hastings] continue to display” despite their tough start to the season. As such, Sparke said that “We will be very much aware of the fact that this team is hungry for a win and will be looking to capitalise on any opportunities they can create. With that in mind we will be looking to set the tone throughout the game and come home with the win.” Regarding his offence, the OC feels the unit looks “very strong at the moment, but we need to be aware that on any given Sunday anything can happen and so we need to perform”.
HC Craig Barnes echoed the OC regarding Hasting’s tough start, adding that “I am only concentrating on our performance. I am expecting high-level execution on offence, intensity and speed of pursuit on defence. All sides of the ball will be expected to play with physicality. I am hoping to use everybody on the squad to build experience, but we have to earn that first.”
Make sure you come down to St Albans Rugby Club this Sunday! The Senior game is preceded by the Juniors taking on the London Blitz (Midday Kickoff) and food and drink will be available.