SKIPPER James Shewell says Midlands Two West (South) league leaders Droitwich will have to be fully focused to break down a stubborn Barkers Butts defence this weekend.
The Salt Boys travel to the Bob Coward Memorial Ground on Saturday looking to make it 13 wins out of 13 ahead of next weekend’s RFU Midlands Intermediate Cup semi-final clash at Midlands Two West (North) side Leek.
Droitwich could only scrape past the Coventry side 15-7 in the previous meeting at the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground in September last year and Shewell is expecting another tight encounter.
“The second half of the season is always interesting as you have more knowledge about the teams you’ve already played,” he said.
“Barkers Butts were one of the toughest sides we faced and have probably the best tackling in the league.
“They stopped us scoring four tries last time out and only a handful of teams have managed to do that and we expect another difficult game.
“But the winning mentality is still strong and even though we have to make a few changes, the motivation is there as we have our huge cup game next week which means shirt are up for grabs.”
After a three-week Christmas break, a rusty Droitwich returned to action on Saturday but managed to record a 27-14 victory over Silhillians.
Brad Cook, Phil Horton, Rob Poke and Shewell crossed the whitewash in the win while Bobby Scott-Walker kicked two conversions and a penalty.
“It was good to get back to winning ways because we are not used to have this long of a break,” said Shewell.
“It was inevitable there was going to be some rustiness but in January it’s all about trying to get the win, no matter how pretty.
“After a long break it was certainly a different challenge for us and there are things to work on so we can become a better team.
“Our concentration and discipline was poor but we can put that down to having three weeks off.”
Shewell also admitted after the game that they had a cheeky look to see the outcome of the third versus second clash between Kenilworth and Malvern.
Malvern edged out the hosts 37-31, a result which means Droitwich are now 16 points clear of Kenilworth who have a game in hand.
“Having played both sides, we believed Malvern were the better team and expected them to win on Saturday,” said Shewell.
“It was just a shame Malvern could not shut them out as Kenilworth picked up two points.
“However, there’s a nice gap now between us and them which is pleasing.”