Haverhill Rugby Club captain reacts to fifth win in a row in Division 2 West, with 13-12 victory over Mildenhall Red Lodge in last match
It is amazing how quickly a sporting mindset can change when results start going your way, according to Haverhill Rugby Club’s captain Adam Hunt.
And results have been going the way of the Eastern Counties League Greene King 2 West side this season, following their torrid campaign in Division One West last season that saw them demoted.
The team recorded their fifth consecutive win of the league season on Saturday, a narrow 13-12 home win over Mildenhall Red Lodge, to boost team morale to a ‘high’ not felt in more than a year.
Their unbeaten run has led the captain to believe the team are ‘more than capable’ of winning the division, less than 12 months after staring down the barrel of a winless season.
“There’s a really positive vibe at the club now,” Hunt said.
“It’s something I have been working hard on building back up after last season – it was terrible by the end of the season and really needed some positivity.
“The morale is so much better and that’s really important. We’ve got a winning mentality now and it’s our plan to win the league, we know we’re more than capable of it – we feel good.
“With that confidence comes better results and performances, we pulled off a narrow win in the last five minutes, that would never have happened last season.”
Their visitors struck first on Saturday in the windy conditions with an unconverted breakaway try.
Hunt kicked the home team into the game with a penalty before adding a converted try to the scoreboard for a 10-5 lead at the break.
But the second half proved to be the domain of Mildenhall, with Haverhill playing into the wind, as they dominated their hosts.
They took the lead from a crossfield kick before converting to leave Haverhill on the brink of defeat at 12-10 down with just five minutes remaining.
Haverhill’s new found confidence saw them refuse to give up as they continued to batter the Mildenhall lines and look for an opening.
It finally came as their winger was ‘taken out’ in the 75th minute, according to Hunt, to gift the side a kickable penalty – but Hunt, who was taken off for concussion late in the half, was unable to step up.
Instead it was left to understudy Luke Stockings to take the high pressure kick for the win.
“That was a lot of pressure for him,” Hunt said. “Really great to see him pull it off in the circumstances and we go away to St Neots II on Saturday (2.15pm) feeling pretty good.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we will have a strong squad and we’re targeting getting another win under our belts.”
He said there were a number of ‘really good’ members of the squad that had helped turn the team’s results around, such as returning fly-half Gavin Hope, Stewart Hunt and young scrum-half Dean Cleary.
“We need those players to help us get the bonus points,” he added. “They’re going to be crucial to win the league.”