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Fast starts have been a real bonus for Blues

Newbury ended the season with an emphatic win against Stratford

Liam Headd

Liam Headd


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Fast starts have been a real bonus for Blues

NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer is delighted that his squad’s standards didn’t drop in their final game of the South West 1 East season.

Blues ran in 15 tries during an incredible 103-0 victory against Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday.

And after the game, they were presented with a league winner’s shield.

Archer said: “We trained excellently during the week and it kind of sunk in that it was our final game this season.

“We spoke a lot in the week about the standards we want to set and the performance we want to put out and I think we achieved that.

“You don’t score 103 points without putting in a very good performance and we were very clinical,” he added.

Despite the margin of victory, Archer praised the opposition.

He said: “Credit to Stratford, they have had a difficult year. They made it tough for us at times and it was important that we overcame that.”

Blues maintained their record of starting games quickly as they converted two tries inside the first four minutes.

And the Newbury head coach believes starting off on the front foot has been key to their success this year.

He said: “It’s hugely important and we train for it because we want to put pressure on our opposition and I think it was one of the reasons we didn’t stay in South West Premier last year.

“We worked on it over pre-season and throughout the season, so it’s really pleasing to see that the lads have embedded it in the way we play.”

Blues secured their 22nd try bonus point of the season, and along with a losing bonus point, they picked up 23 extra points over the campaign.

“It has been huge,” admitted Archer. “It’s equivalent to winning another four games, so it’s massively important as it was one thing we lacked last season.

Across the course of the season, Archer turned to players in the Colts and Stags teams, giving opportunities to a number of players.

And he believes they can play a huge part when they return to South West Premier next season.

He said: “Part of the frustration for me as a coach is to say that there are players in the second team who haven’t had a lot of game time this year.

“We haven’t had the opportunity, but next year there are plenty of lads who will be able to step up when we have injuries and we won’t lose the quality.”

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