Having just helped Ealing Trailfinders to their first home Greene King IPA Championship victory of the season against Jersey, prop Ryan Storey is expecting another fierce challenge this Sunday away to Bristol Rugby.
The west-country outfit are currently top of the Championship and have announced a number of big-name signings for next season to boost morale ahead of the run-in to the promotion play-offs.
Add in a highly vocal home ground at the Memorial Stadium that has packed them in this season and Storer is under no illusions of what to expect down the M4.
“It is going to be massive,” he said. “Bristol can be quite big upfront, so if we’re not on our game set-piece wise, it will be a very tough day. We’ve just done a good job on Jersey’s pack, bettering them in the scrum and lineout, so we’re feeling quite good, but we need to be at our best even to compete with them.
“They’ve hit a bit of form and have announced some new players, so they’ll be feeling fairly high and the Memorial Stadium is always a tough place; I’ve played there many a time and it will be a tough day at the office.
“It will be a packed out crowd, rammed in and very vocal, it is quite an intimidating place and if you’re not on your game it can be quite a long day, so we need to be at our best.”
Storer missed the first match between the teams earlier in the season, a match Andy Robinson’s side won 21-7. Nonetheless Ealing pushed their illustrious opponents hard for 80 minutes and even took an early lead thanks to a Tom Bedford intercept try.
The 31-year-old did start the win over Jersey 25-23 a week ago though. After scoring three tries and fighting back from an early 12-point deficit, it was Ealing’s will to win and dogged determination that earned them the victory, for a result that keeps alive their hopes of avoiding the drop to National 1 with four matches remaining.
“We haven’t got too many wins, but to pick up a good win and play for 80 minutes was massive for us, because we haven’t done that consistently and it was a great feeling,” Storer said.
“We’ve still got four games left and we haven’t given up yet; anything could happen. You’ve seen the results in this league. We’ll go out and play our game and hopefully continue as we are and pick up a few more wins.”