Boars are raring to go

First published in Sport

BROMSGROVE RFC are gearing up for their first-ever league meeting with Stourbridge on Saturday (3pm) with head coach Ross Baxter ready to let his Boars off the leash.

The Finstall Park outfit will be gunning for the unbeaten Saxons in National Two North with several of the hosts players having previously plyed their trade at Stourton Park.

With so many of the Bromsgrove squad looking to get stuck into Neil Mitchell’s outfit, Baxter says that he has some difficult decisions to make before Stourbridge visit.

“There are several players at Bromsgrove who were deemed not good enough for Stourbridge,” Baxter said. “I think they all want to prove a point to Neil Mitchell.

“I will try to calm the players down and tell them it’s a normal game.”

With the two sides never meeting in a league contest before, Baxter believes that there will be a bumper crowd at Finstall Park.

“It’s the fixture everyone’s been talking about at Bromsgrove ever since it came out,” the Boars chief said. “This is the first time the clubs have ever met in the league and it will probably provide Bromsgrove with their biggest crowd of the season.”

Baxter is confident that the Boars will be at full strength to face the Saxons and he is likely to make changes following last Saturday’s 24-18 defeat at Otley — a match Bromsgrove were winning with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Skipper Tom Warren is likely to mark his return in back row after playing a couple of games for the second XV.

Fellow back rower Callum Thresall is also waiting in the wings along with prop Steve Blackburn, centre Toby Wilson and fly-halves Ben Coxon and James Curgenven.

“Everybody wants to play against them and provides me with a real headache,” Baxter said.

“There’s going to be one of two disappointed people at the club but I felt we lack a bit of experience at Otley last week.

“We weren’t streetwise enough in the closing minutes and kept the ball alive when we shouldn’t have.

“Everything was there for the first 70 minutes and we should have taken our foot off the pedal at that point and closed the game out.

“I know Stourbridge have swept all before them this season, we will take the game to them and try to throw them out of their comfort zone.

“We play at a very high pace and it is a game we desperately want to win.”

Despite the defeat in West Yorkshire, Baxter was pleased with his side’s display against a team who maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

He said: “Otley had scored 17 tries in their first three games, so to get to 70 minutes and they hadn’t registered and never looked like scoring was really good.

“However, we had three players sin-binned and it meant having key players off the park at crucial times. “We allowed Otley to get some momentum and once they got their momentum going, we couldn’t defend it.”

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