Fri, 08 Mar 2019
PAUL Archer has challenged his Newbury Blues side to keep improving over the final few weeks of the season, despite having one hand on the South West 1 East title.
Blues ran out 62-13 winners against Witney at Monks Lane on Saturday and are now 16 points clear at the top with just five games remaining.
However, Newbury didn’t have it all their own way as they trailed 13-10 at the interval before scoring 52 unanswered points in the second half.
“We were behind at half-time, but in my opinion I felt that we dominated the whole game,” said Archer.
“We were incredibly unlucky in the first half in the sense that cheap passes weren’t going to hand and we should have been clear.
“Every time that we had the ball, we looked like we were going to score because we were attacking from everywhere.”
Archer added: “Everything fell right for us in the second-half. We scored 52 unanswered points, which is fantastic attacking rugby.
“We scored some fantastic tries and had a really strong team performance, backed up by individual performances.”
Blues returned to winning ways after losing their 100-per-cent record to Marlborough in the previous game.
Archer said: “It was great to get back on track after a disappointing defeat at Marlborough and it gives us a confident boost ahead of the final five games.”
Blues could clinch the title at Monks Lane on Saturday as they entertain second-placed Old Centralians.
That would ensure Blues return to South West Premier at the first time of asking, but Archer insists that the performance is the top priority.
He said: “I think we have to get a bonus point win and them not to get anything to become champions, but I haven’t looked at it too closely.
“The objective for us is to go and perform in every game we have left.
“If it happens, it happens, but like I have said, we have still got other games so we have to be at our best to try and improve.”
Witney took advantage of the strong wind to take a shock lead at half-time.
But Blues never really looked in danger of losing and ran in eight unanswered tries in the second half.
Harvey North and Rory Jones both scored tries in the first half.
Then Blues ran riot with further scores from Ryan Davis, North, Alex Bancroft, Max Hayman, Alex Sparkes (2), Jones and Toby Thorne.
Dan Thorne kicked six conversions in difficult conditions.