Stour can still improve despite crushing Caldy

First published in Stourbridge RFC

Hard-to-please Stourbridge director of rugby Neil Mitchell insists his side are still misfiring despite producing a comprehensive 55-21 victory at Caldy.

It signalled Stour’s fourth bonus-point win this season and keeps them firmly on top of National Two North.

Mitchell conceded it was a better performance than their success over Birmingham and Solihull but added: “We still didn’t play well at set-pieces in particular.

“I’m not being over critical, because I have high expectations of the side this season. “There were still lapses in defence where we gave Caldy two interception tries, but when we did play well we did look exceptionally good.

“To be fair to the teams we’ve played this season, we’ve not really been tested, but I expect that to change this Saturday when we take on Preston Grasshoppers.”

Mitchell would have been less than impressed when Stourbridge lost their England Counties loosehead prop Mike Hill to a yellow card within the first minute of play after tripping an opponent who had already robbed him of possession.

It paved the way for Caldy to take the lead through a Craig Ross try which Richard Vasey converted. to put Stour behind for the first time this season.

Second row Niles Dacres responded with a try in the corner which Jamie Hearn converted.

Outside-centre Stefan Shillingford immediately added a second try.

But then the alert Ross made a timely interception to land his second try to level the scores at 14-14 before Hearn raced over to for a converted try before a penalty put Stour ahead at half-time.

The second-half turned into a procession which saw Stour left wing Hearn, full-back Matt Farrington, number eight James Rodley and replacement fly half Sione Tu’ipolotu add further tries, while Hearn completed a total of six conversions.

Tu’ipolotu is likely to continue at fly-half against Preston with Gary Dipple unavailable.

Winger Nathan Bressington remains a doubt with a hamstring strain but Nigel Makarati should be back to boost the pack.

The match will be preceded by a former players lunch with a 160-strong contingent expected.

Mitchell said: “With so many former players in attendence, everybody who wears the Stourbridge shirt has a responsibility to perform.”

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