NEIL Mitchell says Stourbridge’s battling success at local rivals Luctonians has proved a lot to him about his side.

The previous weekend’s defeat against Sale in the final home game of the season left the director of rugby at Stourton Park questioning his players’ motivation.

However, Mitchell was full of praise for his squad after a fiery encounter at Mortimer Park last Saturday.

He said: “I was really pleased with the players. It was important for us that we bounced back and showed our fight.

“Luctonians are renowned for being a niggly side and you know you will have been in a game after you play them.

“We had to stand up to that and I think we did that. There were a few times when it boiled over and there were a few brawls, which I don’t condone, but it was a big thing that we weren’t bullied.

“There have been times this season when we have allowed ourselves to be bullied by some sides, so it was important that we didn’t let it happen again.

“Even more pleasing was that the aggression came from some of the guys that I didn’t expect.”

Stour came out on top 26-24 at Luctonians in a clash that had local bragging rights at stake.

They clawed back the hosts’ early lead and had secured a 16-point lead and bonus-point fourth try just after the hour mark.

The hosts rallied but Stour’s stubborn, hardworking defence held out until two late tries.

Stour’s final game sees them go to champions Macclesfield this Saturday.

“We are determined to try to finish the season with a win,” added Mitchell.

“We could find ourselves finishing third, but with home and away wins over the teams that finished first and second.

“That win at Luctonians did prove a lot to me about the players.”