31st May, 2020

"The season had to end", says Monners coach Drew

Ben Tyler 24th Mar, 2020

DROITWICH coach Blair Hunter says the implications of the cancelled rugby union season are disastrous for the Midlands One West club.

All activity within the sport at both a professional and community level had initially been suspended until Tuesday April 14, before all rugby below the Premiership was cancelled following a statement by the Rugby Football Union on Friday.

While the Monners remained in action up until the most recent matchday on Saturday, March 14, going down 29-7 away to Newbold-on-Avon, the reality of the club being inactive from both a community and playing sense is a cause for concern for Hunter and everyone associated with Droitwich.

“We’re a non-profit making club for the community,” he said. “We’ve had to cancel things that were booked months in advance in our social diary.

“The club host weddings, wakes, committee meetings, even King’s School were set to use our facility in the next week, those events gave the club a lot in the way of income – but that’s now come straight off the top.”

With the sporting world in an unprecedented state of flux, the Droitwich coach is of the belief that the decision to bring an end to the current season was the right one, and says the difficulties would have continued to surmount even if the campaign was allowed to resume.

“You can understand the Premiership Rugby and professional sides playing again at some point later this year, but from a junior and community level perspective it was right for it to finish,” Hunter added.

“In the situations where certain clubs are well ahead of everyone else in the promotion places, then you can understand decisions being made. But where it’s not mathematically conclusive, the season had to end as it is now.

“There is no way that clubs at our level, sides that haven’t got even the resources that we have, would have been in a position to continue playing in the summer and then have a few weeks before pre-season started again.

“We sent out a group message to all of the players to say that we wish them to stay fit and healthy, once we hear more going forward then we’ll be able to update them on what the next step is.”

While Droitwich were on the wrong end of the scoreline at Parkfield Road, with only an Adam Shaw try converted by Gregor MacLeod to show for their efforts, Hunter says neither he or his players could have any complaints about the outcome against the well-drilled hosts.

“We can hold our hands up and say we were blown away by them,” he added.

“They had four or five chances to score and took them, we played as well as we could but we were beaten by the better side.

“Newbold were good in their set pieces and scrummage, their line-out was excellent. I thought we actually defended very well considering, but we were flattened by their penalty try at the start of the second half.

“It completely took the wind out of our sails, it was a contentious decision but the referee gave it and they remained in the ascendancy.

“I don’t think anyone came off that pitch wondering what if, and when you do that then you can never have any complaints about losing.”

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