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Bridgnorth looking to maintain standards

By David Banner | Grassroots | Published:

Bridgnorth will be looking to build on a promising opening-day display when they head to Sandbach in the Midlands Premier tomorrow.

Bridgnorth’s James Hill and James Rodley team up to make a hit against Peterborough Pic: Dave Cooper

The All Blacks went down 27-26 to a strong Peterborough Lions outfit last weekend but it was a performance that offered plenty of positives for the season ahead against a side expected to be pushing for honours.

And experienced campaigner Gareth Bladen is keen for Bridgnorth to maintain the standards they set on day one.

“It was a quite exciting start to the season against Peterborough,” he said. “While we were disappointed to have lost, we played very well as a team and could, and maybe should, have come away with the win. Peterborough have a very strong side.

“Our performance has set a high benchmark for the season and if we consistently perform as we did last Saturday then we should be pushing towards in the top half of the table. That’s our target but no one in this league will be easy and with Sandbach away this weekend it’s essential we come away with a win.”

Newport started the season in stunning fashion with an eye-catching 76-24 success at Lichfield.

They host Longton tomorrow looking to build on that display and with director of rugby Chris Wilde keen to see more from rising star Jason Francis, who is making impressive progress after switching from the round ball for the oval one

“Jason Francis was playing a decent level of football when he was persuaded by last season’s second XV manager Mark Lowbridge to give rugby a go,” said Wilde.

“After impressing in the seconds he put in a great pre-season and forced his way into the side. He is humble in that he admits he still has much to learn but even at this early stage, after maybe a dozen games of rugby, he looks to be an outstanding prospect. Everyone will be following his progress most closely.”

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