Colchester coach Johnston is looking for a Christmas boost

COLCHESTER Rugby Club will be looking to break their festive hoodoo when they travel to south Essex today.

Head coach Danny Johnston admits the team have struggled in fixtures around Christmas time in past years, but their current form suggests they can break that this year.

Colchester will end 2013 with a London League division one north trip to face a Westcliff side that has been stumbling in recent weeks.

The visitors head into the game with four wins and a draw from their last five games – including Saturday’s 27-7 win against Chingford – and are third in the table.

While Westcliff sit one place above today’s opponents, the dominance they were enjoying in the early part of the season has gone in recent weeks.

They have lost three of their last four games to be level on points with Colchester and Johnston believes today could give his team a very happy Christmas.

He said: “It doesn’t matter what their results have been like recently, I don’t think anyone would fancy playing Westcliff at Westcliff, but we are in form and are playing as well as anyone in this league.

“With the way that we played last week against Chingford, I think Westcliff is a good place for us to be going this week.

“The recent performances that we’ve seen have been massively important to us.

“We are notoriously poor at Christmas and have struggled to get it right in past years, but if we get it right today then we could really be challenging.

“It will be a huge confidence boost and will make the Christmas change around much easier.

“It’s exciting to be looking at what we are improving rather than questioning what we have been doing so far.

“I think we have hit a turning point where we can really kick on from the early progression we have made.

“We know what we still need to work on, but let’s take the next step now and it’s satisfying to be able to say that at this time of the season.

“We clearly have improved, but we are now seeing the benefits of the hard work we’ve put in so far.

“I think it’s a good time for us to be playing Westcliff and we’ll be able to see how far we have come in the ten games since we played them last.

“The table is very tight with 11 points separating seven teams at the top and that shows that the competition is still very much alive.

“I think the team that capitalises best on the next four or five games will be in a very good position.”

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