London Scottish this coming weekend return to home soil for a match against our friends from Stourbridge, after a two weekend sojourn to the North East. Stourbridge will be facing their own second consecutive match on the road after losing narrowly at Sedgley Tigers last weekend.
Stourbridge rugby club were founded in 1876 as a branch of Stourbridge Cricket club and after a number of early successful seasons the club was forced to disband in 1893, due to a lack of interest. A number of attempts were made to resurrect the club and eventually in 1921 the club was revived. The club moved to its current location in 1965 and over the years the ground has been progressively improved, with floodlights being added and the 450 seat stand being erected in 1996. Stourbridge have played at National League 1 level for the last 10 years and are one of a select band of clubs, who have consistently maintained this level of rugby.
Last summer, Stourbridge forged a working relationship with Worcester rugby where Stourbridge took on a number of Worcester Academy players on dual contracts to provide them with game time. In addition, the club recruited the ex South African internationalist Thinus Delport in a player/coaching capacity to work closely with the Director of Rugby Neil Mitchell to improve the overall coaching capability at the club. Since the relationship was established a number of Worcester Academy players have turned out for the club, including back rower Matt Kvesic who last weekend scored two trys in the England U20 match against Wales U20 in Llanelli. Andy Short the England U20 centre is also dual registered with Stourbridge, but has only turned out once for the club, which was the opening match of the season before being recalled by Worcester.
The season so far, has seen the Stourbridge club fluctuate from the peripherals of the promotion race to a lower mid table position. The club has taken notable away scalps at Blackheath winning 31 – 33, an impressive 23 – 32 victory at Rosslyn Park and finally winning away 23 – 27 at Cambridge and became the first club this season to beat the Cambridge outfit at home. In the reverse fixture with Stourbridge, Scottish defeated Stourbridge 9 -17 at Stourton Park in a forwards oriented match with Tom Standfield and Alex Clarke scoring the trys. This season their leading kicker is Ali Bressington who has scored 74 points and the leading try scorer is back rower James Rodley with 8 touch downs. Stourbridge went down 19 – 14 last weekend in a tight encounter away at Sedgley Tigers, in a match who's outcome was only determined in the closing minutes when a resolute Sedgley Tigers defence held out.
With Scottish overtaking Cambridge and moving into second place in the league, the team will be determined to continue with their impressive winning streak and record their 16th consecutive victory. The team is playing with a high level of confidence and the current match day squad must maintain the high standards they have set, as Stourbridge will no doubt provide a stern and significant challenge.
Scottish have been on the road for two consecutive weekends, so Saturday's match will provide the home supporters with an opportunity to see the progress the team is making. With the team now firing on all cylinders and averaging 35 points in their last two away matches, it is an ideal opportunity for the home supporters to witness the next instalment of the season. Make sure you get down to the RAA for a 3pm kick off and roar on the team. See you all there.