UTTOXETER RFC will have “nothing to lose” at Burntwood on Saturday as they look to build on the weekend’s victory over Bloxwich.
The Town recorded back-to-back wins – adding a bonus point – as they took a 27-10 victory in the Midlands Three West (North) clash at Oldfields.
Now, director of rugby Don Hayes is looking forward to a reunion with Burntwood coach Graham MacDonald, a stalwart of Uttoxeter RFC.
“Against Burntwood we’re underdogs with nothing to lose,” said Hayes. “We’re looking to do as much damage as possible over there.
“It’s a big game and these are the ones you want to be involved in and these are the teams you want to make a point to.
“For me personally, I’m looking forward to the contest as Burntwood’s head coach is Graham MacDonald.
“He’s a life member of Uttoxeter and he gave me my opportunities for both club and county and helped nurture me as a player, so I’m eager to be up against my old mentor.”
Last week the Town really fired up the Oldfields crowd with a battling performance that saw them grab a bonus point for scoring a fourth try.
“We picked up an extremely satisfactory league win with a rare bonus point,” said Hayes. “We won in front of a passionate and vocal home crowd who really got behind us.
“Their support was a contributing factor to the amount of points we chalked up on the board.
“It was not an easy win – Bloxwich’s intentions were to make it as hard as they could for us and we had to fight throughout.
“We were taught the value of keeping the ball in our hands.
“Bloxwich put us under a lot of pressure but lacked the sting in the tail to execute, whereas when we got the possession we hit the phases and were too much for them at the vital moments.
“Our spectacular, well-finished tries showed we’ve got the weapons in the arsenal to put away the chances but we struggled to keep the ball for long enough to make the chances we would have liked.”
Uttoxeter went 5-0 up within 10 minutes when Tom Sherrat made an elusive dart through the midfield before spinning out for supporting full-back Ben Gallimore.
Milward added a penalty to extend the lead to 8-0.
Pete Allen then scored an uncompromising solo effort. Following a Town counter-attack from deep he took the final pass in the midfield and smashed through four tacklers before diving over the line, leaving bodies strung over the field en route to touching down. Milward added the extras to give the hosts a 15-0 half-time lead.
Bloxwich came back in the second half, and with Uttoxeter’s Lawrence Paull sin binned they scored a converted try and a penalty to bring the score back to 15-10.
Town raised their game in the final 20 and executed their chances to secure the win.
They were awarded a penalty inside Bloxwich’s 22. Milward spotted winger James Gill in space and took the quick tap before spinning a long pass out to Gill, who cut back inside and crossed the line to extend the lead to 20-10.
Uttoxeter secured the bonus point in the final five minutes.
From a line-out, the ball was spun out and fly-half James Deaville cut through Bloxwich’s line before offloading to centre Henry Knox, who broke through a half tackle and dived over the line in between the posts.
Milward converted to make the final score 27-10.