Kerr backs his boys to stay on course for double glory

Manu Paniagua received the man-of-the-match trophy following Banbury Bulls cup victory
Manu Paniagua received the man-of-the-match trophy following Banbury Bulls cup victory

Head coach James Kerr would love nothing more than for Banbury Bulls to clinch the title in front of the Bodicote Park faithful next weekend.

The long-time Midlands Two West South leaders need just two more victories to clinch the title and promotion starting with Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton Old Edwardians.

I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the players over the last few games

Head coach James Kerr

If Bulls win that one then victory over Pinley will be enough to seal it the following week and confidence will be high following last week’s Oxon Knockout Cup final victory over Henley Bulls.

Kerr said: “I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the players over the last few games, against Earlsdon in the league and the two cup ties against Oxford Harlequins and Henley in the final.

“It’s very satisfying to lift the cup for the first time in 16 years and rewarding for players like Simon Brand and Matt Brock who have finished up on the losing side in the past.

“We didn’t let out intensity drop throughout the game. Ed Phillips kicked well all night and put his opposite number under pressure through the 80 minutes.”

But Phillips will miss the rest of the season as the Bulls skipper needs surgery on damaged tendon in his finger which he delayed so as to play in the final.

The skipper joins Matt Goode on the injured list along with Sean Bannister whose shoulder injury rules him out for the rest of the campaign.

Josh Deegan will take over from Phillips at scrum half while Sam Stoop will continue at fly half where he played in the final.

James Page comes into the starting line-up for the trip to Nuneaton.

Looking ahead to the next two games, Kerr said: “It will be great to win the title against Pinley in front of our supporters at Bodicote Park but we will not take them for granted.

“Pinley beat us earlier in the season at their place but we would fancy ourselves on a fast surface against them. Nuneaton won’t let us have an easy game either, so we won’t take either team for granted.”