All Blacks are braced for a testing afternoon
Bridgnorth boss Bryan Smallman has warned the All Blacks will face a sterner test in tomorrow’s re-match against Midlands Premier rivals Luctonians.
The Edgar Davies Ground men welcome Luctonians, relegated from the National League Two North last season, in a third versus fourth clash.
Bridgnorth, under the stewardship of head coach Gareth Harris, secured a narrow 15-13 win at the Hertfordshire outfit’s Mortimer Park home to progress to the semi-final of the North Midlands Cup two weeks ago.
But Smallman sees a very different challenge ahead tomorrow when league points will be up for grabs.
He said: “The conditions decided it that day.
“Whoever had the wind had possession. On a calmer day we’ll need a different skill-set. The players will be tested more.
“They’re a great club and have always had a higher division standing than us. It’s the first time we’re playing each other in the league.”
Bridgnorth’s six-match winning run came to an end at Lichfield last Saturday as they agonisingly lost out 34-31. Smallman was left questioning a refereeing decision after an apparent last-second Elliot Brooks try was chalked off.
Now the first XV manager is looking for the All Blacks to fine tune their performance. He added: “We’ve got to be right on the money to compete.
“A positive reaction, from all of us, would be great. We need to make sure the little details are put right and tighten everything up.”
No.8 Calum Madden and outside centre Llew Williams are back in contention for injury-hit Bridgnorth after missing out last weekend.
Smallman added: “They have trained hard this week to try to get back in the squad.”
Bridgnorth remain without injured trio Ryan Smeilus, Jake Goulson and Jordan Burgess.
Midlands Premier: Bournville v Newport; Bridgnorth v Luctonians; Broadstreet v Lichfield; Burton v Doncaster Phoenix; Scunthorpe v Sandbach; Sheffield v Nuneaton; Syston v Derby.
Midlands 1 West: Sutton Coldfield v Stourbridge Lions (tonight; Droitwich v Newbold on Avon; Dudley Kingswinford v Moseley Oak; Hereford v Malvern; Old Halesonians v Bromsgrove; Whitchurch v Stoke on Trent; Worcester v Longton.
Midlands 2 West (North): Camp Hill v Stafford; Crewe & Nantwich v Spartans; Leek v Newcastle; Veseyans v Telford Hornets; Walsall v Tamworth; Wolverhampton v Ludlow.
Midlands 3 West (North): Cannock v Handsworth; Edwardians v Cleobury Mortimer; Trentham v Shrewsbury; Wednesbury v Eccleshall; Burntwood v Harborne; Uttoxeter v Old Saltleians.
Midlands 4 West (North): Aldridge v Linley; Barton-Under-Needwood v Clee Hill; Willenhall v Market Drayton; Yardley & District v Bloxwich; Aston Old Edwardians v Essington.
Midlands 5 West (North): Bishops Castle & Onny Valley v Stourport; Chaddesley Corbett v Dixonians; Warley v Tenbury.