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Umaga: Saxons need to buck up
2:00pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in Stourbridge RFC
SLUMPING Stourbridge Saxons need to re-find their focus, says head coach Mike Umaga.
National Two North leaders Stour fell to a shock 13-12 defeat at Otley last Saturday, their second loss in four games.
After winning their opening 18 league fixtures, the Stourton Park’s seemingly inexorable march toward the title has slowed to a stroll and Umaga was searing in his assessment, admitting his players had been “out-worked and out-fought.”
He said: “When this happens twice I don’t think you can call it a bad day at the office.
“We didn’t turn up with the right tools on the day. We abandoned the things which have worked well for us all season.
“I know what Otley is all about, there is a lot of tradition up there.
“They really worked hard. We didn’t work hard enough and when that happens you get beat.”
Stourbridge are without a fixture this weekend and were due to have the week off from training.
But that was quickly cancelled following Saturday’s performance.
Umaga added: “There was a lot of talking about where things went wrong.
“A lot of it was trying to get back the focus. In the last few weeks we have lost our hard work ethos.
“Ideally, we would want to be playing this weekend but it is what it is.
“We’ll just have to let this one stew a bit longer.”
Second-placed Hull Ionians, who have two games in hand, can close the gap on Stourbridge to 11 points when they host Birmingham and Solihull this Saturday.
Stour still must travel to both Hull and third-placed Darlington Mowden Park.
Umaga said: “The boys know the importance of those games.
“In reality they are the ones which are not hard to get up for.
“For us it’s always about the two inches on top and making sure we are right mentally.
“It’s an area we need to look long and hard at because a lot of the time we are beating ourselves.”