Neil Mitchell targeting a new year glory push for Stourbridge RFC

Sport | Published:

Stourbridge director of rugby Neil Mitchell believes the side are 'nicely poised' heading into the new year.

Stour are fourth in National Two North, 16 points behind table-toppers Caldy having played 16 games.

On the season so far, Mitchell said: "There is one game where we were really poor – Leicester Lions away where we just capitulated in the last 20 minutes (to lose 37-13). Other than that, we have played well and picked up bonus points.

"Caldy have a good lead at the top but we have found out before that you can be pegged back.

"We have won 20 games before, picking up the bonus point, and still finished third.

"I think we are sitting there, nicely poised to attack those above us in the second half of the season.

"Yes, I would like to be a bit a higher in second, maybe, but I think some people may have written us off, thinking it's a three-way race between Caldy, Sale and Sedgley Park. I like the position we are in and those teams have got to come to our place, and play each other as well."

Last weekend, Stour took their time to pull clear of Luctonians and win 26-5.

The first scrum saw Lucs' pack in reverse gear, Stour moving the ball wide for centre Will Hollis to punch a large hole in the defence.


Scrum-half Joe Heatley's chip to the corner was pursued by Dan Rundle who looked to have scored but was adjudged to have knocked-on.

The ploy drew dividends shortly after, though, when Rod Petty's chip over was gathered by Rundle, who breezed round the cover to score under the posts, and the conversion was made.

Stour were enjoying the lion's share of possession but further attacks were less successful as Lucs' defence tightened up and handling errors crept in.

Lucs failed to make the most of a decent spell and Stour were 7-0 ahead at the break. Stour immediately looked much tighter in their attacking phases in the second period. A Lucs' lineout was turned over and the ball worked wide where George Tildesley created a half-break, offloaded to Chris Easton who chipped over the defences for the chasing Heatley to gather and score.


Heatley tried the chip option once too often though, Silver launching a Lucs' counter-attack that Stour's defence held but at the cost of penalties in their 22.

Lucs went to the corner but the following throw was not straight and they were unceremoniously shunted downfield by Stour's pack.

Lucs failed to get any change from the defence as they threw wave after wave into attack, Stour turning them over to grind their way downfield. Ciaran Moore picked up at the base of an advancing scrum to crash over, then Stour's next attack was straightened by James Otutaha who broke a tackle and offloaded to the supporting Heatley to bag the bonus-point fourth try.

Mitchell added: "We were down to our third choice fly-half hut it did not have an effect on the end result.

"We had to change at the last minute and I think that lack of continuity from the week before affected us in the first half. In the second, we were much brighter and I was really pleased with the result."

In National Three Midlands, Old Halesonians beat Longton 36-9. Lichfield lost 31-12 at Peterborough Lions.


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