22nd Aug, 2019

Protherough relieved to get over the line after Boars win Midlands 1 West

Ben Tyler 28th Mar, 2019

BROMSGROVE RFC head coach Dan Protherough hailed the composure of his team to secure the 36-0 win away at Stourbridge Lions which confirmed their status as Midlands 1 West champions.

The Boars required two points at the weekend to ensure they go up as champions, and despite leading by just five points at half-time, they romped home in the second-half to achieve step five rugby next season.

Speaking on the feat, Protherough was delighted to have finally secured promotion to Midlands Premier for next season.

“It was great, it’s a lot of relief to get over the line.

“We’re really pleased after a very successful but tough year, we’ve had our rivals in Newbold and Dudley Kingswinford on our heels most of the season, so now we’re champions it’s a lot less stressful.

“I’m really pleased for the players, the staff, but also the people around the club who put their time and effort in that don’t normally get a mention.

“The players get the publicity, but the people behind the scenes deserve as many of the plaudits too.”

He believed getting to half-time to re-assess the situation against Stourbridge and calm the players down was the most important factor of their eventual convincing win.

“It was a tough game, we had a slim lead at half-time, a number of powerful tackles edged it our way.

“It was a case of relaxing the players, calming the nerves down and cutting out the silly mistakes that we were making.

“We did just that and we deserved the win.”

He pointed out a number of big moments in the season that were crucial to the Boars’ successful title challenge.

“We beat Dudley Kingswinford after Christmas, there were wins over Stoke and Hereford that were crucial.

“But for me the moment that stands out is Newbold at home in second.

“We did remarkably well to win, especially by that margin, it gave us a big cushion which was vital.”

Bromsgrove still have three games remaining of the season, with home fixtures against Sutton Coldfield and Worcester, and an away trip to Whitchurch still to play.

Protherough admits it’s a tricky situation ensuring that the players remain motivated with the season’s aim already achieved by this early stage.

“Trying to keep motivation going is tough, we owe it to other teams to stay professional, as there are other teams scrapping for their lives to stay up and get promoted in second.

“We’ve set a target to win every game at home, which we’ve done so far, it would be a shame at this stage to not see that out.

“Aside from that, we’ve set other targets such as scoring 1,000 points for the season, which we’re also close to doing.

“It’s all about completing the smaller achievements now, which will help us to stay motivated.”

The Boars have won 22 of their 23 fixtures played this season, their only defeat coming to title rivals Newbold-on-Avon back in October in a 20-15 loss.

Tenth-placed Sutton Coldfield are the visitors to Finstall Park on Saturday (3pm), with Protherough expecting another tough test against a side they narrowly beat 15-10 in the reverse fixture in December.

“Sutton away was very tough, we lost a number of kicks and had to work hard for the win.

“They’ve got some good players back for this weekend who can make a difference.

“They’re still scrapping down at the bottom of the table, although they should be safe, but they will be a tough challenge for us again.”

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