Kirk confident Fen Tigers have enough strength in depth to cope
Mildenhall Fen Tigers manager Phil Kirk believes his side will have enough strength and depth to see off the Plymouth Devils in the National League tomorrow (7.30pm), despite being without a recognised number one.
The West Row-based outfit will operate the rider replacement facility to cover for Josh Bailey, who is out with concussion, following a crash which left team-mate Sam Bebee nursing a fractured humerus during their win 42-18 over the Isle Of Wight Warriors on Sunday.
Kirk said: “We are using rider replacement at number one but I’m confident we’ve got enough in the tank to win.
“I think we have four number ones in our team in Josh, Drew Kemp, Danny Ayres and Ryan Kinsley and the last three can all take rides for Josh, so can Dan Halsey.
“What we have got to be careful about is going down to five riders as that is when rider replacement can catch you out so we will probably look at getting a number eight in.”
A familiar face will return to the Fen Tigers side against the Devils with former rider Sam Woods, who was also a Fen Tigers Cub, stepping in to cover for Bebee during his spell on the sidelines.
Kirk added: “Sam Bebee will be out for between four to six weeks.
“He was doing everything we wanted and more at number two. It is a real shame and he deserves some good luck.
“We’ve obviously got to give Sam Woods a little bit of time but he is as keen as mustard.
“He has got a good understanding of the club and its ethos.
“He gets on with everyone and is a great team man to have invovled.”
While the Fen Tigers suffered two injury blows on Sunday it was a case of getting the job done in securing maximum league points after they defeated the Kent Kings 52-38 before having their victory over the Warriors cut short.
“We set out to win both meetings and max out the points which is what we did,” said Fen Tigers captain Ryan Kinsley.
“It was a big blow losing Sam and Josh.
“It just means we have now got to work together even harder on Saturday.”