Dudley Kingswinford crank up the pressure on rivals
Neil Shillingford is delighted Dudley Kingswinford have piled the pressure on second-placed Burton in the Midlands 1 West title race.
Shillingford, the club’s director of rugby, watched on as DK won 43-12 at Worcester, claiming the bonus point.
The victory put them eight points clear at the top, having played two more games than Burton.
“All we can control is what we do now, making sure we do things right” said Shillingford. “We’re always looking for those bonus points so we were pleased to come away from Worcester with one.
“It was a bit nip-and-tuck at one point at Worcester, but we got a few scores and pulled away.
“Our mental strength is something that has grown this year, it’s pleasing to see, and we’re piling the pressure on Burton.
“They’ve got a couple of games in hand on us, but they’ve got to go out and do the business, get the wins – and anything can happen.
“You always want to have the points in the bag, rather than having the games in hand.
“It’s the business end of the season and we’re just focused on ourselves – working hard in training and getting the results we need.”
DK have won 13 league games in a row, one of those being a narrow 14-12 triumph at Burton last month.
Both second rows scored tries against Worcester, showing their good support work in open play.
Matt Perks got their first – taking some defenders over the line with him. Dan Marsh got their sixth, speeding under the posts.
Pete Griffiths, Tommy Walker, Connah Jones and Stefan Shillingford (two) also chipped in with tries.
Sam Vaughan added the extras with his boot.
DK have played 18 games this campaign, winning 16 and losing two. Their losses were at home to Burton in September, and away at Bromsgrove the same month.
Up next for them is a trip to Stoke, who are fourth, on Saturday.
Shillingford expects a very difficult game as a few of his players are unavailable.
“It’s a rearranged fixture and it’s always a tough place to go,” said Shillingford.
“It’s quite a heavy pitch there. This was supposed to be a free week so a few of the lads have booked a ski trip. It’ll really test the strength of our squad, it’ll be a tough game.
"It’s a very good test for us.”