4. Leaflets Distributed with TLA

Stroud rugby manager Mark Samak ready for Dursley cup final challenge

All Areas > Sport > Rugby Union

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 5th May 2022, 09:00

Stroud play Dursley in the Stroud Combination Senior Cup final on Saturday Stroud play Dursley in the Stroud Combination Senior Cup final on Saturday

Dursley will be confronted by a team with a mixture of youth and experience when they take on Stroud in the Stroud Combination Senior Cup final on Saturday (3pm).

Back row Mark Phillips, who is just two years short of his 50th birthday, is set to start the game at Cirencester, while rugby manager Mark Samak, also a back row and a year younger than Phillips, will be on the bench.

At the other end of the age scale, teenagers Tom Samak and Will Hammonds are also expected to start.

Tom Samak, known to everyone as Dave and the son of the club’s rugby manager, is just 17 and will play in the centre, while 18-year-old Hammonds, a pupil at St Peter’s School in Gloucester, starts at 10.

“Yes, it’s a real mixture of youth and experience,” said Samak senior, who also confirmed that no 8 Sam Leworthy will captain the side.

“For us, this game is a challenge, it’s a good chance to test ourselves against a team who play at a higher level.

“It’s an opportunity for some of the younger guys to play in a cup final, hopefully we’ll take a lot of support to Cirencester.

“We’re going into the game as underdogs against a proven side who have had a very good season, but hopefully we can play without any pressure. There’s no expectation, it’s a chance to express ourselves and put in a performance.”

It’s been a difficult season for Stroud, of course, after they were forced to withdraw their flagship team from Western Counties North at the start of the season due to a shortage of players able to play at that level.

As a result, the club’s 1st XV have been playing in Gloucestershire Two North and in the words of Samak have had a “solid season”.

“We played 20 games, won 14 and drew one, which left us in fourth place,” he said. “We’ve played quite a few players new to senior rugby. We also had six players from our youth system play adult rugby.

“We’ve looked to rebuild and gain some stability. The aim is to retain the current players and attract some new ones, building towards having a 2nd team in 2023/24.”

Dursley, meanwhile, have romped to the Gloucestershire One South title with a perfect record of played 20, won 20, and they have also dominated the Senior Cup in recent seasons.

They were given a walkover by Cirencester to reach the final while Stroud overcame Fairford, who play a division above them in Gloucestershire One North, 34-21.

The Senior Cup is just one of five end-of-season Stroud Combination cup finals.

Senior Cup: Dursley v Cirencester HWO; Stroud 34 Fairford 21.
Final: Dursley v Stroud, at Cirencester, Saturday, May 7th (3pm).

Junior Cup: Dursley 2nds 30 Minchinhampton 20; Painswick 24 Cirencester 2nds 34.
Plate final: Minchinhampton v Painswick, at Stroud, Saturday, May 14th (1pm).
Cup final: Cirencester 2nds v Dursley 2nds, at Stroud, Saturday, May 14th (3pm).

Bill Adams Trophy: Minchinhampton 2nds 5 Cainscross 12; Dursley 3rds 14 Wotton 19.
Trophy final: Cainscross v Wotton, at Cirencester, Saturday, May 7th (1pm).
3rd/4th Place play-off:  Dursley 3rds v Minchinhampton 2nds, at Cirencester, Saturday, May 7th (1pm).

Copyright © 2022 The Local Answer Limited.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Local Answer Limited and thelocalanswer.co.uk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More articles you may be interested in...

The Local Answer. Advertise to more people in Gloucestershire
The Local Answer. More magazines through Gloucestershire doors

© 2022 The Local Answer Limited - Registered in England and Wales - Company No. 06929408
Unit H, Churchill Industrial Estate, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 7EG - VAT Registration No. 975613000

Privacy Policy