Stupple determined to stay focused on return
HERBIE STUPPLE insists he cannot afford to try too hard on his return to Plymouth Albion's side for tonight's match against London Scottish at Brickfields.
Back-rower Stupple has been a frustrated spectator for Albion's opening three league games after picking up an ankle injury in their final pre-season fixture against Gloucester.
But the 22-year-old, who missed nearly all of last season with a broken shoulder, knows he cannot let his enthusiasm get the better of him in match he describes as 'big'.
"I don't want to go out and try too hard," he said. "If you try too hard things don't normally go your way."
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He added: "It will be my first game for more than three weeks and I'm looking forward to it.
"But I have to be sensible with myself. It's a long season and I don't want to miss any more of it. I want to play as long as I can."
Albion go into tonight's match with a win, a draw and a loss to their name from their opening three Championship fixtures.
But Albion failed to claim a victory in their last home game when they blew a 31-6 lead to draw 34-34 with Moseley.
If James Shanahan's side do not win this evening then they will not have another chance to claim a home league victory until November 5 when title favourites Bristol visit.
The Championship takes a two-week break after this weekend for the British & Irish Cup.
Stupple knows tonight's game is important after the side lost 40-9 last Saturday against London Welsh to drop down to seventh in the table.
"This is quite a big game for us," said Stupple, who will start at number eight.
"It's a game we've aimed for. We want to get as many points as possible to get back into that top six. Hopefully, the other results in the Championship will go in our favour as well."
He added: "But it is going to be tough. Scottish have done well. They have beaten some of the big sides, but we have definitely set is as one of our big games."
Scottish have only beaten Albion once in six meetings since they return to English rugby's second tier in 2011, but most games have been close. Albion won 24-20 at home last year and 16-9 away.
"I remember the game last year and the year before that and we did really well," said Stupple. "Last year they managed to come back quite a bit in the second half, but they are a side we seem to do well against here at Albion."
Stupple says the team feel they do have something to prove tonight.
He said: "We will definitely be raring to go.
"We want to prove to spectators and every one of the board that we are a new and different team and an exciting team at that.
"We showed the fans that in the first half of the last home game (against Moseley). We want to do that again, but put in an 80 minute performance not just a 40 minute one."
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