Steve Tonks full of praise for Britbowl heroes
Head coach Steve Tonks declared Shropshire Revolution’s Division 2 National Championship crown as the greatest moment in his time with the club.
His side completed a 13-0 season, going unbeaten in their 10 NFC2 clashes before storming through the post-season play-offs, which came to a euphoric climax in Leeds on Sunday, where they landed the Britbowl after downing Glasgow Tigers.
And Tonks, in just his second season as head coach, believes it is onwards and upwards for his talented young charges, who are set to compete in Division One next season after their relegation in 2015.
“I am delighted,” said Tonks, who has spent seven years with the club.
“It was better than I think we hoped for even though we were always confident.
“It’s the best moment I’ve experienced with the team, definitely.
“Everything is on the line in these one-off games, it could be an opportunity that none of us could have again. I told them to make the most of it and fact we took the chance was just superb.
“The celebrations were tremendous. A mixture of excitement and disbelief. I had to pinch myself. The game took a long time with poor weather. It really took it out of people, they physically tired – it was a quiet journey home, they gave their all.
“I said leave nothing on the field.
“It is onwards and upwards for us. I expect Division One to be tougher physically, but we’ll be well prepared. We’ve got to be prepared to match that, having our younger team makes me more optimistic, but we will build and recruit.”
Revolution triumphed 31-7 in difficult conditions at the Britbowl final. Wide receiver Mark Phillips was named MVP in his third campaign with the club.
Phillips and Andrew Charman scored early touchdowns, with linebacker Alasdair Jarvis and quarterback Alex Wake adding to the scoreline.
Revolution’s MVP then added his 20th touchdown of the season later on as the TCAT and Oakengates Athletes Stadium side saw out the success. “For Mark Phillips, who just completed his third year, to win a Britbowl MVP is as good as it gets,” added Tonks.
“He started in 2015 and had a tough season when we went down and didn’t win.”
Revolution’s Division One opponents won’t be confirmed until the early part of 2018, however, they may come up against some familiar faces in Sandwell Steelers, Leicester Tigers and Nottingham Caesars.
The club were heavily backed by supporters and former players throughout the unbeaten campaign, particularly during their play-off quarter-final and semi-final contests with Morecambe Storm and Gateshead Senators. Tonks, who is from Telford, added: “Particularly the two home play-off games, we had a really good turnout.
“It was the first time that we had hosted them.
“They were very well attended by lots of former players, it was great to see.
“I think it has helped improve the image, that continues to get more popular.”
Pre-season training starts again in January with dates for the rookie taster days to be confirmed.
Anyone who would like to register interest for next season should contact the Revolution via their Facebook page.