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Captain Evans ‘really pleased’ with spirit of squad despite defeat at St Ives

Despite falling to a 28-5 defeat away to St Ives (Midlands) II in the Eastern Counties Greene King 2 West on Saturday, captain Zac Evans was ‘really pleased’.

The loss – their first of the season – sees their title ambitions take an early dent as they drop to third in the standings, in the merit division that does not award bonus points.

And this, Evans said, is a frustration for the team with a vastly superior points difference over the two sides now above them in the table.

Rugby action from Diss III V Haverhill/Mildenhall/Red Lodge mixed team..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (21465234)
Rugby action from Diss III V Haverhill/Mildenhall/Red Lodge mixed team..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (21465234)

“All in all, it was a fantastic game on Saturday and I’m really pleased with the boys,” he said.

“We played very well but they were a very well drilled team and we struggled to break their line, despite being camped out on their try line for 10 or 15 minutes.

“We also suffered two injuries and only had two subs, so strength in depth was a problem; but we fought right to the end and showed a lot of heart.

“We’re already seeing the problems of this league; we have thrashed teams but not got the bonus points and then you have one weekend without availability, you lose, and you’re potentially in trouble – it’s frustrating.”

They will this Saturday host top-of-the-table Mildenhall & Red Lodge (2.30pm) in a game Evans said is ‘huge’.

“I’ve been working on availability for weeks now, to make sure we have our strongest side,” he said. “They’re our local rivals and it’s our VP (Vice President) day as well, it’s a huge game for us.

“We’re feeling really positive despite our loss and it should be a good game.”

Asked if a defeat to Mildenhall would end the club’s hopes of promotion to Division One, Evans said: “I would hope our promotion chances wouldn’t be over, but a loss would put promotion at huge jeopardy.

“But we will be much stronger, we will work hard in training to be as prepared as we can be.”

Both league encounters last season were close with just three points between them, but Haverhill edged both; they won 13-12 at home and 19-17 away.

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