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Stroud looking to make it 18 wins out of 18 in Western Counties North

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 7th February 2020, 12:30

Rupert Foote Rupert Foote

Super Stroud will make it 18 wins out of 18 in Western Counties North if they clinch victory against Gordano tomorrow.

The long-time leaders have enjoyed a stunning season so far, scoring more than 650 points to open a big lead at the top.

They have a 17-point advantage over Matson, who they travel to play a week tomorrow, and have also played one game fewer than their nearest rivals.

Stroud aren’t quite through two-thirds of their league campaign – they still have nine games to play – but thoughts among some of their fans are understandably turning to whether they can go through the league season by winning every game.

“That would be some achievement,” said long-time Stroud supporter and club president Russ Hillier. “I don’t remember Stroud ever doing that before.

“But we’re under no illusions, it will be very difficult. Every team will want to be the first team to beat us.

“We’ve got to go to Matson a week on Saturday. We beat them for the first time for a long while earlier in the season and they’ll certainly want revenge.

“We’ve also got to go to Midsomer Norton, who we’ve already beaten in the final minute at home, and we’ve still got to play Avonmounth Old Boys.”

All of them are tough games, of course, but Hillier has been very impressed by what he has seen from the team this season under the expert eye of director of rugby Rupert Foote.

“At this level we’ve got a very good squad,” Hillier said, “and nothing breeds success like success.

“The training numbers have been good – we’ve been getting up to 30 people – and we’ve got some very promising young players.

“That augurs well should we get promoted and we obviously hope all the players will stay with us.

“The players’ attitude has been great all season, all credit to the boys.”

And should they win Western Counties North, the club’s flagship team have the chance to win further silverware because they have entered the Stroud and District Combination’s end-of-season Senior Cup competition for the first time for several years.

The club’s 2nd XV will again be competing in the Junior Cup and Hillier added: “It would be nice to win three trophies and complete a clean sweep.”

Stroud travel to Cirencester for a place in the final of the Senior Cup while the 2nd XV will visit the winners of Cainscross v Cirencester 2nds in the last four of the Junior Cup.

And as well as being impressed by the club’s 1st XV, Hillier has liked what he has seen from the 2nd XV this season.

“They’ve been getting some good results since before Christmas,” he said. “They recently drew 27-27 with Newent 2nds and the referee said in his report what a delight it was to oversee the game. That’s great credit to both teams.”

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