Neil Mitchell calls for killer touch as Dale loom
Neil Mitchell has called on Stourbridge to discover a killer instinct as they prepare for Saturday’s showdown with Tynedale.
Stour host the Newcastle club, with whom they finished level on points last term, in what is an early test of their National Two North promotion credentials.
Director of rugby Mitchell is demanding a response after last weekend’s 24-11 defeat at Sheffield Tigers, where his team paid a high price for failing to take their chances.
Stour had possession inside the Tigers’ 22 eight times in the opening 15 minutes, but came away with only three points and were then hit with a two-try sucker punch.
Mitchell said: “At our level it simply isn’t good enough.
“Every time you get into the opposing 22 you have to be looking to come away with something.
“We hammered Sheffield in the opening 15 minutes, but could not get over the line.”
He now wants to see better against a Tynedale team who will themselves be aiming to bounce back, after conceding 50 points in a home defeat to Hull Ionians.
It means they have started the season with two straight defeats, yet Mitchell still expects them to be challenging for promotion at the end of the season.
“I’ve watched Tynedale’s game against Hull on tape and nothing went their way. It was a complete one-off,” he said.
“If any of our guys are deluded enough to think we will be hanging 50 points on them this weekend, they are in for a shock. It will be a very tough game.
“I do expect Tynedale to be up there again this season. One thing we can say from the opening two weeks is that this is going to be a very competitive division and I don’t see anyone running away with it. There have already been some strange results.
“Saturday was a wake-up call, but at this stage of the season, when players are still getting to know each other, sometimes that is no bad thing. Some lessons have hopefully been learned. My message to the team is when we get the chance we have to score points.”
Stour head into the game without one of their key men as blindside flanker Nigel Mukarati is unavailable.