Swindon are braced for a Poole backlash in their big Bank Holiday Monday Premiership showdown at the Abbey today at 7.30pm.
The CFS Filtration Robins were emphatic 52-38 winners when the sides met at Wimborne Road last month, but boss Alun Rossiter says that counts for little ahead of the return fixture.
The Pirates have a history of raising their game when they visit Blunsdon, and an unfancied line-up pushed the Robins almost all the way in a nervous play-off semi-final last September.
They also have a former Swindon favourite in their ranks, with Danish star Peter Kildemand currently on a short-term deal with the Dorset club in the continued absence of Chris Holder due to personal issues.
With the likes of Brady Kurtz, Linus Sundstrom and another ex-Robin Josh Grajczonek included, Robins are aware that they cannot read too much into Poole’s surprisingly poor run of results so far this season.
Plus, Pirates promoter Matt Ford has already acted to make a change with Swindon asset Stefan Nielsen – who scored a six-ride paid maximum in the Championship on Friday – coming in to boost their reserve strength at the expense of James Shanes.
The visitors will arrive on a run of four successive defeats in official fixtures, with their last outing being a 38-52 loss at Somerset in the KO Cup last Wednesday – the same night that the Robins’ winning run came to an end at King’s Lynn.
However, Rossiter’s side do return to full strength on Monday with Zach Wajtknecht having made his comeback for Lakeside on Friday after a brief absence following a crash in the British Under-21 Final.
Rossiter said: “Matt and I both want to win. We’re both winners, and we always like to beat each other.
“This meeting will be no different, and although we won comfortably down there, I think it will be a different kettle of fish on Monday.
“We’ve already seen with several results this season that everyone has to be respected, and you can be sure we won’t be taking Poole lightly.
“It’s our biggest rivalry in the Premiership, and the weather forecast looks very promising so fingers crossed we get another good crowd.”
SWINDON: Nick Morris, Adam Ellis, Troy Batchelor, David Bellego, Tobiasz Musielak, Zach Wajtknecht, Mitchell Davey.
POOLE: Brady Kurtz, Kacper Woryna, Josh Grajczonek, Linus Sundstrom, Peter Kildemand, Mateusz Szczepaniak, Stefan Nielsen.