Bristol Sonics are looking to put last Saturday’s loss to Portsmouth Navy Seahawks behind then when they travel to face local rivals Gloucestershire Warriors at Gordon League RFC tomorrow.

The Sonics performed admirably for much of the game against their closest title rivals last Saturday, but poor discipline in the closing stages – which included two sin-binnings from referee Malcolm Holmes – ended up in them losing the game 42-34, and their position at the top of the West of England Pool A table.

With Portsmouth enjoying a week off, the Sonics can return to the top of the table on points difference with a victory over the Warriors on Saturday. When they sides last met, Bristol ran out comfortable winners 78-26, but it’s likely to be a much closer affair in Gloucester.

Bristol player/coach Dom Swann will have to make do without a host of first team regulars, though he’s boosted by the return of powerful prop forward Byron Edwards and half-back Josh Spuyman. Skipper Alex Potts, whose controversial sin-binning changed the Portsmouth game in the visitor’s favour, will be looking to help get his team back on track.

Potts said: “We had the game under control last Saturday, but our discipline let us down and we ended up losing a crucial match that we should have won. I hold my hands up and say I was as guilty as anyone for the high penalty count. We knew exactly what to expect from the referee and were warned many times, but continued being ill-disciplined. On Saturday we can’t afford to do that again. It’s a match that we really have to win, and I will be leading from the front.”

Dom Swann said: “Due to holidays and other absences we’re up against it a bit tomorrow, but we know what we have to do and I have full confidence in the squad. It might be tighter than our last game, and they will be desperate to get a win as we’ve beaten them fairly comfortably in recent encounters. We have to be on our mettle for the full eighty minutes, and keep on the right side of the ref. If we can do that, we stand a good chance of grabbing the points.”

Bristol Sonics travel to take on Gloucestershire Warriors at Gordon League RFC, Gloucester, on Saturday 16th July, kick-off 2.30pm.

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