Good local derby
By Louis Hill
Tight game sees Newport edge a win
When told that Bridgenorth had pulled out of our fixture and that local rivals Newport were also available for a game the temptation was too great to resist. So at short notice we headed down the A41 to play our local rivals who we had managed to beat earlier in the season. On arrival at Newport it was clear that this was also a game they wanted to win with a full squad turnout.
The conditions were great for what was to be a closely fought game between two very good sides. Newport has a great depth of talent with a number of boys selected to play both academy rugby as well as in the North Midlands. Whitchurch however also boasts a lot of local talent and a great team spirit.
The match was physical and competitive with Newport taking an early lead through a well worked try from a line out move. Whitchurch however responded positively with some excellent counter rucking and handling in the backs. We were able to pull back a couple of tries to go into the second half 12-5 up.
The second half saw Newport take advantage of the squad depth with a number of strong players enter the field. A particularly large and destructive player imposed himself on the game and helped swing the game back towards Newport. A couple of good tries from the home team opened up a tired Whitchurch defence and put us 19-12 down. Probably a fair reflection of the game but unfortunately they sneaked a final try!
From a coach's perspective, it shows what the team is capable of. To essentially hold a strong team, including numerous members of the North Midlands team, Shropshire and other academies should give the boys confidence and is a credit to how well they play together when they're up for it. Well done Newport, I guess it's one all this season!