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Woof aiming to keep up winning habit against Nuns.

Byline: BY NEIL MACDONALD Caldy Reporter

IN A professional rugby career spanning 15 years, Caldy captain Shaun Woof has played in more big games than most.

Even so, the 33-year-old says Saturday's match with Nuneaton is on a par with any of them (kick off 2.15pm, pounds 7 admission).

That's some statement, when you consider he has played for Leeds, Waterloo and Worcester, but it shows the intensity of the battle to claim top spot in National League Three North.

The Nuns have kept pace with the Wirral team throughout the season - even taking the lead briefly over the festive period - and are just three points behind with a game in hand.

Victory would place one of the teams in prime position for the league title and promotion.

Woof said: "We are both having a great season and the fact we are so close in the league makes Saturday's match a cracker - as big as any I've played in.

"It's a fact though that it wouldn't be that way if we hadn't battled to a victory against Leicester at the weekend. Every game has real significance at this time, but we have to keep doing what we have been doing all season.

"That's what has got us this far and it is what will see us through to the end of the season. You can't start changing things or worrying about anything other than playing well when the whistle blows on Saturday afternoon."

As one of the most experienced members of Matt Holt's squad, Woof has plenty of experiences to draw upon to ensure he keeps his cool on the field.

He said: "I remember one time at Leeds when we were playing Worcester to get promotion to the Premiership - that was a winner takes all game.

"When I was in the Premiership with Leeds we had some massive games too, especially one match at Harlequins to avoid relegation.

"Those were massive matches, but if you worry or think too much about what is at stake, that can affect your performance."

He added: "What Holty and I will be stressing to everyone is the most important thing now is Tuesday's training session, then Thursday's, and then the game itself. Anything else will take care of itself."

Woof and Caldy have already played Nuneaton once this season, winning 31-23 away back in November.

He said: "I remember from that day they like to throw the ball around, so it should be a great game to watch because so do we.

"Everyone always says because of their style that they have a lightweight pack, but they must have held their own against some of the bigger teams around the league.

"They have some good strike runners and speed, so it will be a good test for our defence. We are coming into the game in good form though after two solid wins and I know everyone here can't wait to get stuck into them.

"I would also bet they are not looking forward to coming up here. Home advantage is a big factor and it is up to us to make the most of it."

The fact we are so close in the league makes Saturday's match a cracker SHAUN WOOF

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Caldy's Shaun Woof is ready for Saturday's crunch Nuneaton test
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2009
Words:552
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