These games against Stourbridge have always been classic match ups and who could forget the ding dong battles of the noughties as both clubs battled it out for promotion up the structure.
Oh Happy days!!!!
Things are looking a bit grim for Stour at present but if there is any team in the league that could pull off the great escape then look no further than Stourbridge.
Spurred on by the recent revival of Birmingham Bees and an inspirational signing of a top kicker from another National One outfit (Stourbridge) DOH!!!!!, Bees have shown there is always life and I am sure Stour will look forward to tomorrow’s game for 4 and possibly 5 points from Tigers who took on a fully rejuvenated Wharfedale outfit in the last home game, with a heavy look of the Tigers second XV team and Tigers looked more than comfortable with a good home win.
The result was great for structured rugby with proper pathways between each level.
The last game against Stour was back in November when we were all treated to a great game of running rugby as Stour came so close to taking all the points, only for a sucker punch intercepted pass a s Stour hammered the Tigers line for captain Garth Dew to run in a full length try.
But enough of them for the time being as we take a good look at our guests in the usual articles later in this piece in:, The Season so far, Players In, Previous games, Club history and finally the ridiculously biased big match prediction.
These are grim times for Sedge at present with the treatment room looking like North Manchester Hospitals A&E department on a busy Saturday night.
The team sheet below will not be the final team as there are so many fitness tests to undertake on Saturday that only then will I be able to announce the team.
However all clubs have these problems and we are no different to anyone else and the win against a strong Wharfedale two weeks ago should be seen as a good victory and a pat on the back to Steve Hazzelby, Paul Morris and Captain Chris Leader as they bring on and prepare players from the second team structure ready for first XV action.
With the class of Chris Wilkinson still available to us who had a great game last time out Tigers may have the look of a scratch team but the performance they put out against Dale was much more than that.
Today it will be backs to the wall again but I am sure the boys will be all up for it with a lot of players looking to take advantage of the situation and to stake claims for permanent first XV slots.
Nothing from the coaches this week and even Mr Manchester, captain Nick Flynn has managed to stay tight lipped. Incredible
NEWS FROM THE BOOT ROOM
Well the good news on the injury front was short lived as a couple of injuries from last week has made for some changes
Captain Garth Dew will be out for a substantial time following a horrific injury to him in the first 12 minutes of the game against Barking.
It is without doubt a huge miss for the club but that is our last concern as I speak for us all when I wish him a very speedy recovery.
Nick ‘It’s my birthday cake’ Flynn remains as Captain whilst Garth Dew is out.
Henno Venter has picked up an injury so he will be out for some time and could be the rest of the season. I will keep you posted on this as more news comes in.
The sensation in recent games young Billy Emerson the Sale Sharks back row is out through injury.
Mark Jennings who took a stinger in the game against Wharfedale is also still out
Chris Parrott who has had an excellent first season for the Tigers will miss out also due to a stinger injury he picked up against Ealing Trailfinders
Simon Parrott is out following his injury last week but it should not be too long before we see Simon back on first team duty.
Winger Mike Dutton is also out with a niggley injury but again it was a touch and go call.
I can also tell you new fans favourite James Lloyd is fit and raring to go after twisting his ankle last week. This powerful second row has been a real find this season and I am sure popular player will go on to be main stay in the Claret and Gold for many seasons to come.
Phil Largan is back on Second XV duty and very soon should be back with the first fifteen. This, even for one game would be a very welcome return. I have to say I have had regular inside information from a highly reliable source that has confirmed a more positive outcome on what has been a horrific niggley injury.
If you cannot make any the game this week don’t forget you can keep up to date with all the action as and when it happens on the live match update which is found on the forum area of the website or on the left hand side link of the home page under the live match update link live feed.
Anyone can access it as you do not have to be a member so please join in and enjoy.
It’s going to be a cracker this Saturday.
Come on Sedge
Enjoy the game
All the best
THIS IS THE FIRST XV SELECTION TO FACE STOURBRIDGE RFC AT PARK LANE
This is the first team selection to face Stourbridge Saxons at Stourton Park, Stourbridge, Saturday 24th of March kick off 15.00.
SEDGLEY PARK (TBC)
15 GREG SMITH
14 FERGUS OWEN
13 RICHARD WAINWRIGHT
12 MATT RILEY
11 JAMIE HARRISON
10 CHRIS WILKINSON
9 PAUL URMSTON
1 BEN BLACK
2 RICHARD OXLEY
3 NICK FLYNN (Captain)
4 ADAM LEWIS
5 LOUIS McGOWAN
6 ADAM LEWIS
7 DAVE LIVESEY
8 JUAN CROUS
16 DANNY BIRCHALL
17 SCOTT WRIGHT
18 ANDREW THORNLEY
19 WILL RUNCIMAN
20 TOM LEADER
STOURBRIDGE SAXONS (TBC)
15 MATT WILLIAMS
14 NATHAN BRESSINGTON
13 TOM JARVIS
12 BEN BARKLEY
11 ALISTAIR BRESSINGTON
10 SAM ROBINSON
9 PETER WHITE
1 ADAM STURDY
2 LIAM WORDLEY
3 RYAN FURNISS
4 ADRIAN HALL
5 NILE DACRES
6 JOE GARNER
7 ALEX ROVERIA
8 DREW HARPER
16 TOM RICHARDSON
17 JORDON PAGE
18 MICHAEL HILL
19 ANDREW LAWRENCE
20 RICHARD LANE
THE SEASON SO FAR
The season has not been kind to Stour so far with a large number of what could have been performances against some pretty good opposition.
Stourbridge are currently in second bottom place (15) on 33 points. They have played 25 league games winning five, losing twenty.
So far they have scored 505 points for with 716 against leaving a -211 points difference.
They also have 4 try bonus points (TBP) with 9 losing bonus point (LBP) which is a measure of their ability to compete for everything and today they will be very much on the front foot.
A great deal was expected from Stour last season and after an up and down period the end of the league run in saw some consistency.
However this season has been far harder and we all know the competition has moved on. One would expect Stour to have certain games targeted to get all five points and Sedge visit today will be one of them and maybe they will do so today.
We shall see what today brings.
The last four games form guide show Stour losing three games and winning one, with the first three all being very tight affairs losing 44 - 7 away to Jersey, then going down 18-25 at home to Cinderford.
The week after they met Wharfedale at the Avenue and lost 40 – 5 and finally last week at home they let all the points slip as top 5 side Rosslyn Park took all the points beating Stour 22-25.
This will not be an easy game today be rest assured of that.
NEW SIGNINGS IN
The new signings are a mix of very good up and coming players mainly from Worcester Academy with experienced Championship and National League One performers.
It is a very good blend which must the recent return on results very frustrating.
Nathan Bressington is making the headlines with some good performances this season. Aussie back row forward Alex Rovira has also being getting some good press too.
In Robbie Hurrell Stour have a class act and consistent performer who has relished his clashes against the Tigers when he played at Cambridge.
Nathan Bressington: (Right wing): Gloucester
Tomasi Tanumi: (Right wing): Birmingham Bees
Spencer Sutherland: (Left wing):
Ben Barkley: (Centre): Birmingham Bees
Mark Woodrow: (Fly half): Birmingham Bees
James Curry: (Prop forward): Cornish Pirates
Robbie Hurrell: (Second row): Cambridge
James Sutton: (Back Row) Henley Hawks
Jim Jenner: (Number 8) Birmingham Bees
Alex Rovira: (Back row): Associates RFC (Australia)
Chris Reakes: (Fly half): Loughborough University RFC
Joel Dudley: (Scrum half): Worcester Warriors
Nile Dacres: (Second row: Worcester Warriors
Joe Garner: (Back row): Worcester Warriors
There are 15 players who have scored five or more points this season for Stourbridge but the ‘Billy Big Boots’ still is Mark Woodrow who has kicked 73 points but he is now doing his stuff at Birmingham Bees. Top try scorer is winger Nathan Bressington on 15 tries.
The remaining scorers relate to 15 scoring 10 or more and the rest make up the one try bracket. In total there have been 26 players on the score sheet. The top 15 point’s scorers are;
94: Mark Woodrow: (Fly half): 1(T) 19 (Cons), 18(P), 1 (DG)
75: Nathan Bressington: (Wing): 15 (T)
54: James Hearn: (Wing) 2 (T) 13 (Cons), 6 (P),
40: Liam Wordley: (Hooker): 8 (T)
30: Alistair Bressington: (Wing): 15 (T)
25: Tom Jarvis: (Wing): 5 (T)
20: Ben Barkley: (Centre): 4 (T)
15: Matt Williams: (Fullback): 3 (T)
15: Jordan Paige: (Hooker): 3 (T)
15: Ben Hughes: (Second Row): 2 (T)
15: James Rodley: (Second Row):3 (T)
12: Liam Holder: (Full Back): 4 (P)
10: Adrian Hall: (Number 8): 2 (T)
10: Tom Richardson: (Scrum Half): 2 (T)
10: Joe Garner: (Back Row): 2 (T)
Stourbridge R.F.C. was founded in 1876 as a branch of the Stourbridge Cricket Club and shared the Cricket ground in Amblecote.
As Association football flourished, the rugby section was ousted and from 1883 rugby football soldiered on in a variety of locations throughout the town, with the highlight being a mini golden era in the two seasons 1887-9 when only 4 games were lost out of a total of 37.
Despite this success on the field of play, interest in the game seems to have waned and after 2 lack lustre seasons the club was forced to disband in 1893. There was a brief but inadequately supported revival 1907-8.
The club was revived again in 1921, and yet again, it proved difficult to find a satisfactory location.
Two remote spots in Clent and Pedmore were briefly utilised before they settled in an old soccer ground at Vicarage Road, Wollaston, rented from the Church.
This remained their home for 43 years. Throughout this period, they benefited from a close connection with the local King Edward’s Grammar School, which had introduced rugby into the curriculum 9 years earlier.
Until the breakup of the system, it was the Grammar School that produced the core of players, administrators and supporters that accounted for the prosperity of the club.
In 1965-6, the club moved to its present freehold site at Stourton; 11 acres, expanded later to 15 acres and now possesses 4 senior pitches and 2 mini pitches, 2 sets of floodlights. In 1996-7, it completed an impressive 450 seater grandstand.
The clubhouse, a two-storey structure, has been extended and regularly refurbished so that it contains a gymnasium, a major clubroom, two members’ rooms and a viewing balcony.
The tradition of regular improvement and repair probably reached its peak in 2002 with a £300,000 addition of twin towers to the clubhouse, improving and extending changing, administration and social facilities. A new set of floodlights were installed in 2007.
When the League system was introduced in 1987 Stourbridge, after some spectacular successes in the mid 80’s, were put in the National Leagues.
Area League North in those days consisted of eleven teams and only involved 10 fixtures a season. Stourbridge remained in that league for 15 years, the only club to do so, and then, at long last, were promoted to National 2 in 2001.
They had flirted with promotion (but never with relegation) throughout that period, but their most spectacular achievements were in successive years 1998-2000, when they ended up in a frustrating second place, playing attractive attacking rugby and smashing the league record for the number of tries a season, averaging well over 5 tries a game.
Following that infamous law that dominates such situations, play –offs were introduced the following year. During their promotion season, Stourbridge maintained an unbeaten home record for the only time in its history.
Life in National 1 is so precarious that only 4 of the present 16 clubs have been in the league for more than 3 seasons.
Amongst all the N.C.A. clubs, Stourbridge are unique in that they have only had one change ( fortunately, a promotion ) in the 20 seasons of league history, While in National 2 they had faced the threat of relegation, being 11th twice but thereafter they have achieved respectable mid table positions.
In 2007-8 they enjoyed their most successful season since the leagues began finishing 3rd in National One, only losing 5 out of 26 games and narrowly missing out on promotion.
Neil Mitchell who had started and ended his playing career at Stourton Park, bordering a long spell at Moseley became Director of Rugby in 2004 and continues in this role
PREVIOUS GAMES AGAINST STOURBRIDGE
Well current form may tell one story and that suggests an away win but with the league being so un-predictable and with a really bad injury crisis at Park Lane the reality anything could happen and a suggestion of a good home win.
The Last game at Park Lane was a classic with points galore and a nail biting finish with Tigers defending their line intercepting a loose pass for captain Garth Dew to run the length of the field for the final try.
What is for sure we have been here before with Stourbridge when they had been the top dog in pervious battles in years gone by.
The previous game statistics makes quite pleasant reading if you are a Tiger, with Stour having only won once in 12 league and cup games. This may change today.
So total points in the last twelve games
SEDGLEY PARK: 331 – 271 STOURBRIDGE
SEDGLEY PARK 28 - 23 STOURBRIDGE
12/11/2012: Sedgley Park 43 – 35 Stourbridge: Won (NL1)
09/04/2011: Stourbridge 33 – 8 Sedgley Park: Won (NL1)
05/02/2011: Sedgley Park 19 – 14 Stourbridge: Won (NL1)
20/03/2010: Stourbridge 18 – 21 Sedgley Park: Won (NL1)
03/00/2009: Sedgley Park 35 – 15 Stourbridge: Won (NL1)
03/01/2004: Sedgley Park 23 – 15 Stourbridge: Won (NL2)
06/12/2003: Stourbridge 28 – 32 Sedgley Park: Won (NL2)
18/01/2003: Stourbridge 45 – 24 Sedgley Park: Lost (NL2)
23/11/2002: Sedgley Park 30 – 14 Stourbridge: Won (NL2)
19/01/2002: Sedgley Park 34 – 24 Stourbridge: Won (NL3N)
10/11/2001: Stourbridge 17 – 29 Sedgley Park: Won (NL3N)
29/09/2001: Sedgley Park 33 – 13 Stourbridge: Won (Nat CUP Round 2)
THE BIG MATCH PREDICTION
It will be a brutal battle with both teams wanting to take all the points being very clear in recent weeks.
Form suggests a very tight game but advantage with the home side, so a strong home win is predicted. However the Tigers with one win in four, but have performed well on the road this term. Anyway when has form counted for anything in this league.
I can see the visitors scoring tries possibly more than the Tigers so I will go for a close fought away win with two bonus points going to Stourbridge. Claret and Gold sunglasses again
STOURBRIDGE 24(2)- 25 (4) SEDGLEY PARK
Enjoy the game
All the best