HEAD coach Mikey Jones has promised his Ludlow side will stay true to their principles when high-flying Hereford bring the league’s meanest defence to derby day at The Linney on Saturday.

Hereford sit fourth in Midlands One West, four places above Ludlow, having lost just one of their opening seven games and conceded only 88 points – an average of 12 points a game, a league low.

Given Ludlow’s renown for free-scoring, attacking rugby, an intriguing clash of styles beckons but Jones says his side will not blink first and hopes home advantage is key.

He said: “We always fancy ourselves at home, it doesn’t matter who we are playing against, whether they are near the top or whatever. We know that little bit of home advantage does kick us on.

“Hereford have started the season very well and they have the best defence in the league, they haven’t conceded many points at all.

“But we don’t change anything week to week, how we play is how we play – we like to play wide and use the whole pitch.

“We’re not going to change our strategy because of how Hereford play – we will go out there and say ‘try to defend against what we’ve got’. If they can, fair play. If not, all the better for us.

“They are not massive scorers but they are defensively good and a lot of that is down to passion. They will try to bring the physicality and we will have to match that.”

Ludlow’s only home loss came against second-placed Stoke, and Jones added: “We know we can compete against the top sides, it’s just about converting those little edges.

“Our season has been okay at the moment but we are really looking forward to kicking on before Christmas and getting ourselves in a strong position in that top five or six."