Whales: Stags season is turning around

HUNTINGDON’S form is continuing to improve and coach Damien Whales now thinks his Stags can now put some pressure on the teams above them in the Midlands Two East South table.

After their excellent 23-20 win over Oadby Wigstonians in Leicestershire, Whales said: “We have now had three hard away games in a row – Lutterworth, Harborough, and Wigs – and have managed to pick up 10 points from a possible 15.

“Given our earlier form that is great.”

The win meant the team remained in seventh – but the Stags are now only six points off fourth spot with two more winnable games in December.

This Saturday, they will be at home to Northampton Old Scouts.

It was the home side who started the brightest though and after some sustained pressure they were awarded a penalty which their kicker duly converted for 3-0 lead.

The first half was a battle of aerial ‘ping-pong’, to be fair, a game which the Stags won with some excellent tactical kicking from Wayne Bradley and Dan Malem.

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Hooker Seth Muggeridge crashed over for an early birthday present and the first try of the afternoon before James Thorpe scored the second following several phases of pressure.

There were three penalty goals in the last 10 minutes of the half, one to Stags and two to Oadby – and the two teams left the field with Huntingdon leading 16-13.

Early in the second half, Stags won a penalty which Malem – who had so far failed to add any points to his team’s tries – converted easily. Then a runaway converted try by the home side on 60 minutes reduced Stags’ lead, once again, to just three.

Huntingdon stayed in control when George Woodroofe scored near a corner flag and Malem added his first extras with a superb conversion.

Wigs earned themselves a consolation losing bonus point with another breakaway try in the last play of the game, but Stags had done enough to earn their second win on the trot.

“The paddocks are getting a bit softer and our forwards are going from strength to strength,” said Whales. “Every one of the eight had a job today and I think collectively they did it superbly well.”

“Our scrum is sound, our lineout excellent, but it is what our pack is doing around the park, smashing opposition on both attack and defence that gives me the most pleasure.

“We set ourselves a goal of three wins in December. We are one leg down towards achieving that now and hopefully we will keep on improving.”