Goode praises his side’s character

Duncan Leese tries to break through for Banbury Bulls against Oxford Harlequins. Photo: Simon Grieve
Duncan Leese tries to break through for Banbury Bulls against Oxford Harlequins. Photo: Simon Grieve

Banbury Bulls head coach Matt Goode was delighted to see his side get back to winning ways against Oxford Harlequins in Wadworth 6X South West One East.

Goode had seen his side lose three games on the spin, lose several players to injury – including a couple of serious ones to Dan Kirwin and Jimmy Manley – so was naturally a happy man on Saturday night.

To score three tries in the second half was a testament to how hard we worked after the break

Bulls head coach Matt Goode

Goode said: “We always set out to win these derbies but we knew it was going to be a tough game. Harlequins play good rugby but we knew we needed to get back to winning.

“That’s what good games should be like, it’s not ideal, obviously we want to be winning all the time. But games like that show real character, shows we know how to win, shows we know how to finish games off.”

Bulls took early control of the contest but Harlequins worked their way back into it in the second half. Bulls had to work hard to contain the visitors but Good was delighted with the way his side made sure they emerged with the points.

He added: “You’re not going to win a game like that in the first 20 minutes but it set us up brilliantly. Our final 30 minutes we were in control, we spoke about it at halftime that we needed to keep pushing.

“To score three tries in the second half was a testament to how hard we worked after the break.

“For me as head coach, it’s pleasing to put things in place at training, putting things in place at halftime and then to execute those things in the game. We’ve got players here who are clever enough to be able adapt their game when we need them to and we looked much the stronger side in the closing stages.

“The home crowd made a huge difference, it was a bit quiet in the first half but everyone was behind us for that second half. It really pushes the boys on when we need that support.”