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Home > News > Adversity is the key to North Shields success
Your News Adversity is the key to North Shields success

IF current success was a cast-iron barometer of North Shields’ chances of victory in their Junior Vase Semi-final against Edwardians on Saturday (May 30), the Tynesiders would be a shoe-in for a trip to Twickenham.

They completed their Durham & Northumberland Division Three programme with a 71-5 victory over Newton Aycliffe, a win which gave them the league title and took their scoring average for league games to over 51 points per match.

“It’s been a very good season, but we had to turn things around from last term, when we weren’t playing good rugby and were relegated,” says Honorary Secretary Alastair Shield: “That stemmed from the fact that we lost our first-team pitch for a season because of the installation of sewerage tank and that project inevitably took our focus away from rugby and onto keeping the club going.

“We took our eye off the rugby side and it went down the tubes a bit, but this season we are sound financially and able to concentrate on the rugby, which has gone very well.

“Shaun Hansen, a former player and captain, has taken over the main coaching duties with help from Tom Gallon and Oliver Randall, we had a good Colts team that has provided players and we’ve recruited one or two new young players who have helped to add some pace to the team.

“They have obviously made an impact, but it is not the Cup run or the league success that has energised the club in my view. Basically, we had to deal collectively with adversity last season when we were up against it and had to be properly motivated. We’ve carried that spirit onwards and it has helped to put us where we are.”

While being 80 minutes from Twickenham makes the game the biggest in recent history, it is not a new place for North Shields. They were semi-finalists in the Pilkington Shield some years ago, losing to St Albans at Harrogate, when coach Hansen was a player.

Perhaps his memories of that disappointment will prove a more potent force when the team talk begins than a season full of hefty victories. They are, after all, stepping up a level against a team from a different part of the country, a factor which always adds uncertainty and excitement to the equation.

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