BEES have the potential to deliver a massive blow to their league rivals on Sunday in the battle to avoid relegation from the Championship.
The Sharmans Cross Road outfit take on Rotherham Titans at home, eight days after losing to the Yorkshire side 33-20 - a match when they shipped 19 points whilst reduced to 13 men following a brace of yellow cards.
Now assistant coach Eugene Martin believes that if they can get the discipline right Bees can send a massive message to fellow strugglers Coventry and Moseley.
“It’s no secret that we let ourselves down,” said Martin, “we came second and didn’t even get a bonus point - the guys are disappointed but we’ve got to turn it around and bring on the next fixture.”
Bees, with the worst disciplinary record in the league, had invested much in getting to know as much as possible about the referees for this crucial relegation play off section of the league programme.
However Martin admitted they were stunned when the man in the middle flourished the first yellow at lock Mauro Sperando for a technical offence and then player coach Russell Earnshaw, one of the cleanest players on the pitch, for foul play, minutes before the end of the first half.
“There was no warning before Mauro was carded, which was unusual - both teams are pushing the referee as much as they can but normally he would have given a clear warning but on this occasion it was a straight yellow while with Russell we believe he was mistaken.”
Whatever the whys and wherefores, their double carding proved to be the defining moment of the game.
Bees had opened the scoring through a Simon Hunt penalty before the home side scored a converted try through No8 Ryan Burrows.
Hunt kicked a second penalty before Titans crossed again through winger Andrew Henderson, before being pinned back by a try by Bees winger Anthony Elliot converted by Hunt.
With the score at 12-13 out came the yellow cards and ten minutes in the bin for two key Bees forwards.
Titans duly racked up a penalty try, followed by another try by full back brad Hunt and then a third by former Ireland international Kevin Maggs.
Titans’ No8 Burrows was then carded which brought a try for Bees fly half Ben Patston but it was all too late for the Sharmans Cross Road team to salvage a result.
“We can get ourselves back on track on Sunday,” said Martin.
“As ever, myself and Russell will prepare the team as best we can before sending them out over the whitewash and on to the paddock - then it’s up to them to go out there and do their best.”
* Bees play Rotherham Titans at Sharmans Cross Road this Sunday, April 11, kick off 3pm.
* In the other relegation dogfight, Coventry pipped Moseley 6-3 at the Butts Stadium, a result which leaves Bees and their two local rivals locked together on six, five and four points.