Mixed feelings for Hall in Premiership Rugby Shield season

Mike Hall, manager of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, is disappointed that the Coronavirus pandemic has put paid to Cavaliers’ hopes of winning the Premiership Rugby Shield but delighted with the progress the side made in the first half of the season.

Cavaliers were top of the Northern Conference with four wins from their first five matches when the Shield season was halted last month.

The decision has now been taken to cancel all remaining matches in the competition – Cavaliers were due to host Gloucester United at Sixways and travel to Wasps A, Leicester Tigers Development, Northampton Wanderers and Sale Jets.

“It is bitterly disappointing for all of the players and staff involved that the season was cut short as we really felt we were in with an opportunity for competing for some silverware,” Hall said.

“But we were delighted with the season that we did have. To have lost only one game in the first five was a credit to the application of all the players who have been involved.

“A lot of credit has to go to Gordon Ross and Mike Hill for the way they have brought the players together as a strong unit and encouraged them to play in a really positive style.

“Defence is usually a good reflection of a team’s togetherness and underlying culture. We finished with the best defensive record in the Northern Conference – conceding the least amount of tries and points.

“However to compliment that we also scored the most amount of tries – 30 – in either the Northern or Southern Conferences and were the only team to score over 200 points in the five games.

“Players like Nick David and Kai Owen who performed extremely well early on in the competition were later rewarded with opportunities in Warriors’ Premiership matchday squads.

“Morgan Monks and Noah Heward also played consistently well for us and Noah’s England Under-20s squad selection  came on the back of a series of impressive displays in the Shield.

“Scott van Breda was probably the outstanding player in the Northern Conference. He played in a variety of positions, scored and assisted some great tries and goal kicking was exceptional.”