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Archer: Bonus points are crucial

Newbury have picked up five extra points this season

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

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Archer: Bonus points are crucial

NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer believes picking up bonus points could hold the key to their promotion challenge this season.

Newbury made it five wins from five in South West 1 East on Saturday with a 17-40 victory at Banbury – the fifth consecutive game in which they have picked up a try bonus point.

Unlike last season, the Monks Lane club haven’t struggled to collect these points and Archer feels that this is crucial.

He said: “Even if you lose games, but score tries, you’re in with a chance of getting bonus points.

“We are defensively good and we have had to work on that over the past few years to make it hard for teams to score against us.

“If we get the try bonus point in every game we play, it’ll put us in with a good chance to win the game.”

For the second game this season, Newbury had to come from behind to win, but the head coach admitted that sometimes it’s good to be tested.

He said: “We had a bit of a slow start and they put us under a lot of pressure during the first 15 minutes of the game.

“What was really good was the fact that we were able to force ourselves back into a game.

“It’s really important to test ourselves under those conditions because Banbury are a top team in the league and we knew they’d cause us problems.”

Archer felt his side reacted well to going behind and wants to continue building momentum for the next few weeks.

“We were in control of the second half right until the end when we started to be a bit loose, but we were away and clear.

“Away from home, it’s always going to be tough, but some of our attacking play was excellent and the key for us is to progress and not lose the momentum.”

Archer spent time with the Stags – who also won – over the weekend and he was pleased with their performance against Witney.

He said: “It was great to see the young guys get a start and seeing them play the way we’re trying to implement with the Blues speaks a lot for our strength in depth.

“The home growth at the club means that hopefully they’ll be getting first-team action over the course of the season.”

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