The views of director of rugby Kieran Lawry after Saturday’s extra time 11-9 win at York in Yorkshire Shield.
“DETERMINATION, skill, intensity and strength of character – all qualities which we have developed greatly over the last 12 months and ones that we showed in abundance on Saturday, especially when fighting for our lives 9-6 down late into extra time.
“We used the break from league action to rotate our squad slightly against York, giving lads that have been unlucky not to get more first team action a chance to show again what they can do.
“It was great to see that none of them disappointed with the likes of Tom Kemp, Gary Heeley, Micky Edmond and Stevie Mellonby all performing well.
“It is a good sign of our growing strength in depth that we can chop and change a little and still keep the continuity which is important in this game.
“York were a very physical outfit yet again but we matched them all over the park and readily contained their attacking options despite the extremely poor weather conditions and strong breeze.
“Our forwards competed well even though we were once again a smaller pack while the backs looked threatening whenever they attacked.
“Despite our obvious superiority York were kept in the game by undoubtedly the worst refereeing performance I have seen in 20 years of playing rugby.
“The baffling and completely confusing preformance from the man with the whistle meant that we could never stretch away from the hosts and in fact were close to a defeat in normal time before the fantastic kick from Regan Stirk pulled us level and sent it into extra time.
“Even going behind in the extra 20 minutes of play we never panicked and with a minute left on the clock put together an immense effort of nearly 20 phases of play before Stirk crashed over in the corner for a hugely deserved win.
“This fantastic result has left us with a massive opportunity to win the competition with us one of the favourites in the quarter finals to be played in February.
“We return to York this weekend for our league fixture and I fullly believe that it will be an even harder task as York will be determined to avenge the cup loss.
“We lose Michael Ridsdale through injury and myself with work commitments but welcome back Adam Dixon, Jamie Muru, Ryan Kerr and Wiremu Cookson who are all vying for a place in the squad.
“The momentum is with us at present and the lads are full of confidence so we will go there once again looking to come back with the spoils.”