Whitchurch march on towards Twickenham
Whitchurch are now just two victories away from a trip to Twickenham after an emphatic 39-5 victory over Newark in the semi-finals of the Midland Intermediate Cup.
A hat-trick from Jack Furnivall and further tries from Joe Mullock, Tom Davies and Ryan Horton, who also kicked two conversions, helped Whitchurch reach the Midlands final where they will play Droitwich. The winners will then meet whoever comes out on top in the Northern final for a place at the home of English rugby.
Head coach Scott Sturdy was delighted with his side’s performance and is relishing the prospect of facing Droitwich in the next round, a club he’s very familiar with having coached there.
“It will be a bit of an emotional one for me,” said Sturdy. “It’ll be great seeing old players and supporters so it’ll all add to the occasion.
“We’ve got a home draw as well which is great, although we still don’t have a date. It’s exciting.”
Sturdy’s team were in control for most of the game as Newark struggled against the Midlands Two West (North) side and the boss was full of praise for his players who have put in extra work on the training ground.
“It was a very accomplished performance,” he said. “We went ahead after two or three minutes before they got it back to 7-5 after a good interception, but from then on we racked up three tries and never looked back.
“We dominated the game, we were strong in the scrums and they didn’t look like scoring, so credit to the lads.
“We trained a lot over Christmas and we’ve been working hard training Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, and it’s paid off.”
Sturdy admits the club are dreaming of a Twickenham date and believes they are more than capable but he insists their main priority is the league and trying to maintain their 100 per cent record.
“I do believe we can go all the way but we’re more worried about Spartans next week, because if we beat them we could go 15 or 16 points clear and I think it will be hard for teams to catch us from there,” he said.
“We dropped off a bit after Coalville in the last round, we just scraped a victory in our following game against Ludlow, so we can’t afford to get caught up in the excitement. We have to play well every week from now until May.
“There’s no point being red-hot now, then dropping off and having to then find form again. We need momentum right to the end of the season.”
While Whitchurch are sitting pretty at the top, Cleobury Mortimer are still bottom of the pile after going down 16-10 at home to Veseyans.