Luctonians looking forward to top-of-the-table National Two North clash at Stourbridge (From Hereford Times)
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Luctonians looking forward to top-of-the-table National Two North clash at Stourbridge
LUCTONIANS face a major test of their National Two North promotion credentials when they travel to take on leaders Stourbridge on Saturday.
The Mortimer Park Club have made an excellent start to the campaign and, with just one defeat from five games, are handily placed in third.
But their clash at Stourton Park against the unbeaten home side is likely to be on another level.
“I’ve said to the boys that I don’t really want it to be like a cup final,” said Luctonians skipper and director of rugby Alex Davidson.
“But in reality that is what it is.
“They are the favourites but we’ll go for it and there is nothing which raises your game like the thought of getting stuffed.”
Luctonians have hardly had an easy opening to the campaign with three of their first five games away from home.
“Since I have been back at the club we have always looked to make a good start, and more so than ever this year,” said Davidson.
“We have had three tough away games already and, while it was disappointing to lose at Caldy, we’re pleased to have wins at Stockport and Hull in the bag.”
Luctonians bounced back from the defeat at high-flyers Caldy with a fine home success against another promotion-chasing side Otley.
Their excellent seven-try performance reflected the balance of experience and, largely, home-grown talent in the side.
The regular availability of player-coach Andy Williams has been a key feature of the opening matches.
“Andy had not been sure that he wanted to carry on playing as he wanted to concentrate on his coaching career,” said Davidson.
“But he played a couple of games at 10 at the end of last season which seemed to get back his desire to play and he has been a regular at scrum-half, his favoured position, this season. “Having an international player in the side has helped us.”
But it’s not all been about experience with Luctonians’ exciting crop of young players making major contributions.
“On the wings we have Drew Cheshire and Alex Rumsey who have, respectively, finishing ability and out-and-out pace; we’ve not had that before.
“But we’ve got a great local squad which we have not had to dilute much with outside players. One we have added this season is centre Geraint Langdon, who used to play for Newbridge.
“He has come up to study at Worcester and it’s a question of knowing the right people to find these players.”
While Davidson is happy with the start, he is not getting carried away.
“Our ambition is still to be in the top three at Christmas,” he said. “But Stourbridge, by their own admission, have a playing budget of £200,000.
“That shows what we are up against - we have to run an entire club on that.”