Thu, 22 Mar 2018
NEWBURY Blues head-coach Lee Goodall was thrilled with his side’s performance against Cleve last weekend – but was left frustrated as the South West Premier standings remained unchanged.
Heading into the clash with Cleve, the Blues were in 11th position and, despite a 42-7 victory on Saturday, they remain there.
Wins for Bracknell, Weston-super-Mare and Camborne meant that Blues would not move anywhere in the league as they sit five points clear of safety.
“There were some shock and surprising results from teams around us, which ultimately meant we hadn’t moved and, after the effort we put in, it was slightly frustrating,” Goodall said.
“There’s only six points between us and sixth place, which is mad with only four games left.
“There are still 20 points available and fifth place is still achievable, which is ridiculous at this time of the season.
“For the last few years, 42 points has been enough to see you safe, and here we are sat on 50, embroiled in a battle up until the last game.”
Despite not moving up the table, the Blues coach was full of praise for his team after another victory.
He said: “From a performance point of view, it was up there with one of the best. What’s pleasing is that I thought the decision-making at certain times was a lot better.”
Blues are at Monks Lane against on Saturday as they host leaders Dings Crusaders.
Dings have a second chance to wrap up the title in Newbury after failing to beat Camborne last time out.
“I was surprised with their result at the weekend,” Goodall said. “They need to come to us to win it so that kind of puts a different spin on it this weekend.
“People won’t have us down for a win this week, but we could move up two or three places, so there’s a lot hingeing on this game.”
Blues registered an impressive victory over Cleve, who travelled to Monks Lane having recorded just one win in their 10 games on the road.
The hosts took control of the game early and never looked back as they were on the scoresheet after 12 minutes.
Blues capitalised on a Cleve knock-on and Alex Millar ran through the defence to go over.
Goodall’s men added to their score after 31 minutes as Josh Winfield, making his 100th appearance, earned Blues an attacking scrum before a penalty try.
Just before the interval, Millar released Toby Pearce, who dodged the Cleve defence and covered 65 metres to score, with Richard West converting.
The home side added to their score after the break as a Jamie Futcher try and a West penalty gave Blues the bonus point.
However, they weren’t finished there as Josh Love caught a cross-field kick from Dan Thorne to touch down.
Kris Ford – making his first start – got involved in the scoring as West won the ball in the Cleve 22 before he went over the line.
Cleve got their first points with four minutes remaining after attacking from their own scrum.
However, Blues responded and, after the referee handed a yellow card to a Cleve player, West converted a penalty to complete the rout.