Monday, 6 February 2017

Director's Cut - Sale Programme 4th Feb 2017

Our winning run came to an abrupt end in Harrogate last weekend when we lost a game we could have put to bed in the first forty minutes. However, unforced errors and uncharacteristic poor set piece left us at the mercy of a passionate home side fighting to avoid the bottom three at the other end of the table.

Credit, however to Billy, Nigel and Sam who all put in a big shift. Also congratulations to Dan Rundle who has scored in every game he has played for us. Daniel becomes a Stourbridge player this week following a loan from Coventry. Stato tells me that scoring as he has in six consecutive games is a National League record. Long may it continue!

We could use the mitigation that seven positional changes were forced upon us last week however the new faces accredited themselves well and I’m afraid some of the main body of the squad choked when Harrogate smelled blood!

Quite simply, we have used up all our lives in respect of challenging for an automatic promotion spot this term. Although there are 10 games remaining and 50 points up for grabs the lead Caldy have (21 points) I think now puts them clear favourite as champions. Sedgley Park and Caldy have yet to come to Stourton Park and yes there is a long way to go but I feel that our game today against Sale will determine our credibility as contenders for a play off spot. The contrast between our performance against Leicester Lions the previous week and our game against Harrogate was vast. I don’t doubt for a second that our squad now know what’s at stake and effectively every game is a knockout contest. Sale will not leave here today without knowing they’ve been in a game.

Our away support last weekend was excellent with many choosing to make a weekend of it. You deserved a  better performance and I believe somewhat cynically that some of the squad had half an eye on today’s game. However whatever the outcome this afternoon it’s the teams in the bottom half who fight for their lives who can define a tight league like this. The big games such as today's often look after themselves!

Enjoy the day!

Neil Mitchell
Director of Rugby
Stourbridge RFC

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