New faces are vital if Ravens are to push on - The Redditch Standard

New faces are vital if Ravens are to push on

Redditch Editorial 14th Jun, 2017   0

NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens have issued an urgent appeal for new recruits after player availability reared its ugly head for the 12-man visitors in a 70-20 defeat at Derby in Midlands Division One on Saturday.

Ravens had players missing through work commitments and injuries, including coach Rich Whitehouse and Lee Knight who was absent due to an extended concussion lay-off.

Despite their difficulties, Ravens wanted to show other teams in the league they could fulfil their fixtures, but to make things more tricky the match was moved to Alfreton following the midweek flooding of Derby’s regular pitch.

After falling behind, Ravens struck when a powerful run by the forwards was completed by captain Liam Dunne.

The hosts then moved into a useful lead, but Ravens hit back when a well executed set led to great play from David Swaysland who teed up Dunne to cross the whitewash again.

Debutant Tommy Reynolds scored Ravens’ third try of the first half, but the visitors still trailed 34-14 at half time.

Things got tougher in the second period for Ravens who had been loaned a Derby player. The visitors were a man down following an injury and, despite a never-say-die attitude, Ravens were unable to stem the Derby flow.

Ravens, for whom director of rugby Jason Spafford scored the game’s final try, visit Sherwood Wolf Hunt on Saturday.

Spafford said: “The first half of this season has been frustrating. We have some great players who work really hard but we continue to travel without subs and this time even without a full team.

“We are desperate for wingers and centres. Usually it is forwards we lack but this year it’s backs. We are looking for anybody fast and with athletic bottle.

“They can have rugby experience but it’s not necessary. We have a coach who was a semi-pro footballer, changed to rugby league and ended up playing for England and Great Britain.

“We have converted basketball players and boxers in the past and we need some more players who want a challenge and are willing to learn. There’s a long way to go this season and still time to put it right.”

If you are interested in joining Ravens at senior or junior level, visit Training takes place at Hopwood Park, Ash Lane, Hopwood.

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