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Paul Archer thrilled as Newbury Blues return to competitive action with league win at Witney

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Newbury Blues head coach Paul Archer admitted that there were ‘mixed emotions’ in the lead up to Saturday’s 61-12 win over Witney in South West 1 East.

Due to a covid outbreak in the Grove squad, their opening game of the season was postponed and it resulted in the game against Witney being their first game.

However, Blues proved too much for their league opponents as they began the campaign with a victory.

Newbury Blues made a fine start to the season
Newbury Blues made a fine start to the season

Despite the win, Archer revealed that emotions were running high prior to the game.

“There were mixed emotions before the game as there was some high pressure on wanting to get the season off to a good start, but also seeing a game back on with the crowds watching.

“Once we were into it, kick off happened and everything started to slot into place quite nicely,” he said. “It was a good result for us, we played pretty well and that was the main thing.

“We had four debutants on the day and it was really great to see and I was most happy with how we played together.

“Our defence clicked, we looked well together, but we did miss opportunities so there is some stuff that we can sharpen up on.”

On Saturday, Blues face local rivals Marlborough in what will be their first home competitive fixture in almost 18 months.

“It’s our first game, hopefully we can get a big crowd because there is nothing quite like a home game at Monks Lane because the fans are always very vocal.

“They lift the team and I am looking forward to being in front of our fans again and hopefully I can try and enjoy it as much as I can.

“I hope the players can too because it’s been a long time since we ran out competitively at home and we have a little bit of unfished business with how the league ended last time out.”

For a full match report from the Witney game, turn to page 78.

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