23rd Jan, 2018

Protherough: Getting first win was a monkey off Bromsgrove's backs

Correspondent 4th Nov, 2016

DAN Protherough savoured Bromsgrove’s overdue first win of the season – but admitted they had played better the week before.

The Boars director of rugby said last Saturday’s 35-15 win against Salisbury was a ‘monkey off our back’ after seven defeats in a row in their first season in National Three South West.

Now the challenge is to follow it up with another victory when they head to Newton Abbot tomorrow (Saturday) and provide further impetus in their bid to close the six-points gap on Salisbury, who lie immediately above them.

“It was good to get that first win under our belt,” said Protherough. “In all honesty, we didn’t play as well as we did the previous week against Camborne. But we got over the line.

“The second-half performance was just what we needed. We played in the right areas of the park and we did what Cambourne did to us. We shut the opposition down.

“The most important thing was getting that monkey off our backs.”

Protherough says the Boars’ spirit has never been in doubt and he hopes a first win will kick start their campaign.

“We’ve got some momentum,” he said. “But we can’t stop at one win. We need to build on it. We are still bottom of the table but we’ve lost four of the seven games by just four points and our points difference is around 40 points. That shows we’re not that far off but we’re still playing catch-up.”

That was the case on the Finstall Park pitch last Saturday when Salisbury twice lead, 10-5 and then 15-12, but a converted try and two penalties in the second half secured the Boars’ victory.

The hosts finished with five tries through No 8 Tom Hardwick, winger Charles Baffour, fly-half Jon Critchlow, outside centre Sam Bastock and right wing Ollie Bache.

Critchlow booted two penalties and two conversions.

“After our last three or four games, we went into Saturday’s game expecting to win,” said Protherough.

“But having not won we still had that little bit of fear in our play. We were a little edgy in the first half but there’s nothing better than getting a win to increase confidence.”

Bromsgrove will hope to have Jake Gilford could be fit after shoulder trouble to face Newton Abbot, known as the Devon All Whites.

“Newton Abbot are a big, physical side – they all are in this league,” said Protherough.

“We need to make sure we are out of the blocks quickly.”

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