First win of the campaign gives Muru’s men confidence ahead of derby clash

Acklam 16 Bridlington RUFC 25
Acklam 16 Bridlington RUFC 25

Bridlington RUFC’s first win of the season will give their confidence levels a boost ahead of this weekend’s derby clash at Scarborough.

They travel up the coast on the back of a 25-16 win at bottom club Acklam, but it was only a flurry of late points which guaranteed the victory.

AJ Burrows scored a first minute try, converted by Stevie Mellonby, but the visitors found themselves 13-7 down at half time.

In the last five minutes, Burrows added a second try and captain Ali Sutton extended the lead with the clock ticking down.

Director of rugby Jamie Muru said: “It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but it is a good feeling to get our first win on the board.

“I don’t think we played particularly well. After raising our game against York the previous week, we let our levels drop again in terms of execution and commitment.

“We scored really early on, but they were really committed in defence. We weren’t as clinical as we should have been and let them off the hook when we had them under pressure.”

Bridlington’s preparations were disrupted when two players were forced to withdraw through injury, and one of the replacements Tom Brown had to pull out when his girlfriend went into labour on Saturday morning.

That meant Muru himself pulled on his playing boots at Acklam, and he felt the long journey to the North East was a factor in his side’s sluggish display.

He said: “It’s a long way to travel, especially when it is not on a motorway, and it took a while to get the journey out of the system.

“There are a few places we traditionally struggle at, and it is places like Keighley, Ilkley and North Ribblesdale, which are furthest away.

“However, we got the win, which is all we set out to do at the beginning of the week.”

Distance won’t be an issue this weekend when Bridlington head to Scarborough for what is always a fiery encounter.

“I know how big a game this is,” said Muru. “The club’s biggest rivals remain Driffield but in recent years they have been in a different league so the game against Scarborough has taken on extra significance.

“They have started really well and are going to be confident, but we are looking to do our talking on the pitch.

“We know they are favourites, maybe for the first time in a few years, but we are happy with the underdogs tag and local derbies seem to have brought the best out of our lads in recent years.”

Muru insists he won’t be playing at Silver Royd on Saturday, in fact he may not even be able to coach from the touchline because he is also set to become a father, with his wife due to give birth to their fifth son today.

Meanwhile, he was full of praise for the club’s second string after they began their Merit League campaign with a 24-3 win over Hullensians Hawks, who had comprehensively beaten the Marauders in a friendly two weeks earlier.

“That is all down to the hard work of Mark Floyd and Steve Manton, who have got the numbers up at training and on match days.

“Five guys who are new to the club all played in Saturday’s win and that is great for a small club like ours. It’s a real boost.

“They really deserved that win and have created a really good team spirit.”