UCS Old Boys captain wants a repeat of 2013’s relegation showdown in decisive battle against Wasps

UCS Old Boys captain Dave O'Dwyer. Pic: Paolo Minoli

UCS Old Boys captain Dave O'Dwyer. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

UCS Old Boys captain Dave O’Dwyer is calling on his side to repeat their performance in 2013’s relegation decider when they face Wasps in Saturday’s London North-West Division Three showdown.

UCS and Wasps go into this weekend’s final game level on points as they battle to avoid finishing in the bottom two, with the Old Boys having a slender advantage because they have won more games.

A draw would consequently be enough for UCS, who will use their experience of facing this very scenario – and surviving – when they visited Grasshoppers two years ago.

Both sides were battling for survival in London North-West Division Two, and O’Dwyer scored the third of the Old Boys’ six tries as they triumphed 32-0 with their best display of the campaign.

UCS went on to be relegated the following season and could suffer that fate for the second year in a row if things do not go to plan this weekend - but O’Dywer is confident.

“We’ve been in this situation before, when we had to stay up in the league above a couple of years ago,” said the skipper. “We did that with a pretty comprehensive performance on the day, and some of the experienced heads from that game are still around.

“We had a very good start to that game and stayed on top throughout so it would be great to get into a similar situation, but we know it will be a tough game and we’ll have to adjust to whatever they throw at us.

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“There’s lots of positivity, and selection is going to be interesting with everybody wanting to play in what is a season-defining game for us. We had a pretty tough match at home against Wasps at the start of the season but were on the right end of the [17-9] result.

“We’ve had some injuries – we’ve lost people like [joint captain] Damir Jovanovic, Christian Henk and Stefan Filip – which have scuppered our chances slightly during the season. But we’ve got good availability now and we’re looking forward to getting as many first-team players on the pitch as possible and getting the win to stay up.

“The time for talking is over and it’s about putting in a performance to stay in the league.”

O’Dwyer believes UCS can establish themselves in Division Three next season if they survive on Saturday.

“We started the season pretty well and had all sorts of aspirations, but it’s a good level of rugby and you have to train hard and play hard to stay at that level,” he said. “When we played Welwyn, who are in the top two, we were leading 12-0 with four minutes to go and they scored with about 30 seconds left to beat us at home – so it shows that on our day we can compete with anyone.”