Ipswich Witches v Swindon Robins: Allen and Pieszczek missing again for Witches in Premiership clash
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches v Swindon Robins preview, by Henry Chard.
WHEN AND WHERE…
The 'Tru Plant' Ipswich Witches host the Swindon Robins at Foxhall Stadium tomorrow night in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
IPSWICH: 1. Richard Lawson 7.32 2. R/R for Krystian Pieszczek 5.92 3. Chris Harris 7.08 4. Edward Kennett 5.57 5. Danny King 6.51 © 6. Cameron Heeps 5.26 7. Kyle Howarth (g) 5.35. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
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SWINDON: 1. Jason Doyle 9.74 © 2. Rasmus Jensen 4.51 3. Tobias Musielak 6.41 4. Adam Ellis 6.76 5. Troy Batchelor 7.76 6. Ellis Perks 3.00 7. Paul Starke (g) 4.08. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
REFEREE: C. Gay
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Team Meetings Points
Belle Vue 9 20
Ipswich 7 17
Peterborough 9 14
Poole 7 12
Wolverhampton 7 10
Swindon 6 8
King's Lynn 7 6
WHAT'S THE STORY?
The Witches host the Swindon Robins at Foxhall as they look to keep pace at the top of the Premiership.
The home team currently sit second in the table with a 100% record at home in all competitions. That record was put under threat last week against Peterborough, but Ipswich came through to win 49-41 despite being without Jake Allen and Krystian Pieszczek due to injury.
Since that victory the Witches have made a team change with Edward Kennett replacing David Bellego.
Kennett makes his debut on Thursday as the management hope to add more consistency to the middle order with the change. Allen is again out as is Pieszczek, who this time will be missing again as he has to be in Polish court as a witness. Rider replacement will be used at two, but the Polish rider is now fit again and will ride at King's Lynn on Monday.
Kyle Howarth of Wolves guests for Allen.
Chris Harris will be full of confidence having qualified for the Grand Prix Challenge after finishing second in his qualifier in France last week. It promises to be another tight battle in Suffolk as Ipswich look to continue their good form and send the Robins away empty-handed this time.
FROM THE MANAGER…
'Tru Plant' Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday's clash…
"I am looking forward to this one. We need everyone to get behind us and support us. It is going to be a really tough test against Swindon. We need to carry on our superb home form and we welcome Eddie in for his debut and hopefully will get behind him. He is a seasoned performer and he has started the season very well with Eastbourne and I think he will like Ipswich, so it will be nice to see him get a few points and we all need to perform solidly.
"We are expecting to have Jake back and that would be a good boost. Hopefully the extra week has done him the world of good. We are missing Krystian and will be using rider replacement. We will be able to manage rider replacement a lot better at number two, it is very difficult at number five as it means we have a lot of races with the reserves going out together. Being able to have it at number two should make it a lot easier for me and the riders.
"First and foremost, we want the win and the three points, but we can't be letting teams like Swindon taking a point off us as it could prove vital at the end of the season in the race for the play-offs. We need to stop as many teams as we can from getting a point by winning by more than six and that will be vital for us. First job, get the win and second job, do it by seven points or more."
Swindon have started the season well as they look favourites to reach the Supporters Cup final and have picked up a good tally of league points so far. The Robins sit sixth in the Premiership but have only raced six meetings, remaining unbeaten at home and having picked up a point on the road from three outings. The 2017 champions have already been to Foxhall once this season in the cup and they claimed a valuable point after a 48-42 defeat.
2017 world champion Jason Doyle captains the side the current Grand Prix star dropped just one point on his previous visit to Suffolk. Troy Batchelor is in fine form and he recorded a paid maximum from five rides last time out for the Robins to add to his string of double figure scores so far this season.
Former Witch Adam Ellis returns to Foxhall having started his career with the Witches and the Robins are managed by Team Great Britain manager Alun Rossiter. Swindon have made a few changes to their line-up since their last visit. They recently brought in Ellis Perks at reserve to replace James Shanes and Rasmus Jensen replaced Dawid Lampart.
Paul Starke guests at reserve for Zach Wajtknecht who recently announced he was taking a break from the sport.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Ipswich beat Peterborough 49-41 at Foxhall last Thursday in the Premiership while Swindon won 50-40 against King's Lynn.