Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Mitch predicts Stour reaction after perfect run ended
2:30pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in Stourbridge RFC
NEIL Mitchell has backed Stourbridge RFC to bounce back after hopes of a perfect season evaporated against Bromsgrove.
The Saxons director of rugby described the shock of last Saturday’s 21-12 home defeat to the Boars as “off the scale.”
Stour went into the derby clash having won all 18 of their National Two North games but couldn’t recover from a mistake-ridden first half.
Mitchell believes the game was just a “blip” and expects his side to bounce back when they visit Luctonians this weekend.
He said: “I don’t think anybody saw Saturday coming.
“Their President got up before the pre-game meal and said there was no way they would beat us.
“Other teams may look now and say well Bromsgrove beat them, so can we.
“They may well look for a chink in the armour but regardless of that, I still have a number of fantastically talented players who are very angry about what happened on Saturday.
“There is going to be a backlash, no doubt about it.”
More than 60 volunteers helped clear the Stourton Park pitch of snow on Saturday morning and the fixture was the only one played in the National Leagues.
But for once this season, Stour could not give their hard-working fans something to smile about as they were stung early on by Chris McGregor’s opening score for the visitors.
They never regained parity in a performance marred by poor discipline and uncharacteristic bad handling.
Despite the result, Stour remain 19 points clear of Hull Ionians at the top of the table, though their pursuers have two games in hand.
Mitchell said: “An old coach of mine used to say if you had 90 per cent of your players playing at 70 per cent of their potential, you would win the game.
“On Saturday we had 40 per cent of our players playing at around 50 per cent of their potential, with inevitable consequences.
“I have warned about complacency in the past and there was certainly none from me or (head coach) Mike Umaga.
“It was a blip and that is all it should remain. We can still go on to win 28 or 29 league games this season.”
He added: “Massive credit must go to Bromsgrove.
“Yes, we will be very critical of what went on but I thought they were outstanding.
“They forced us to make error after error.”
Pete White is the only injury concern ahead of the trip to Luctonians.