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Hornets chief plays down promotion talk

By Joseph Masi | Rugby | Published:

Manager Roger Bates believes it’s too early for Telford Hornets to start thinking about promotion despite their outstanding start to the new season.

The Shropshire side made it a perfect seven wins from seven in Midlands 3 West North with a 45-10 victory over Trentham on Saturday.

Despite their 100 per cent record, Hornets sit two points behind leaders Burntwood in the table with the Staffordshire outfit having registered two extra bonus point victories.

And Bates believes it won’t be until the teams meet next month that they will know who are the favourites to go up.

“It’s still very early in the season and there is plenty of time for a few surprise results,” he said. “Having played them last year, I thought Burntwood would be the team to beat at the start of the season.

“And I think we have to wait until we have played them next month before we know where we really are.”

Hornets faced an uphill struggle on Saturday, when Trentham managed to open the scoring with a converted try just 60 seconds into the game.

But two tries from Andy Young and one from Zack Botfield gave Bates’ men a 20-10 lead at the break.

Then after the interval, Jordan Jones, Ollie Neill and man-of-the-match Liam Evans crossed the whitewash to secure an emphatic victory.

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“Trentham came up last year and I think what they are finding is that, at this level, you need strength in depth,” Bates added.

“They are a good team, they have got a big set of lads and when they are at full strength they are going to give a lot of sides in this division problems.

“From our point of view we were a bit sluggish and slow in getting off the mark.

“We made a few changes and that meant it took us a little while to find our rhythm.

“But we got the win in the end and that’s why that strength in depth is so important – we now know we can still win games even when we are missing a few.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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