Beaten but unbowed after cup final loss

BEATEN but unbowed, Ipswich Rugby Club's joint directors of rugby said they can take heart from their display despite losing in the Eastern Counties Cup final to Shelford.

BEATEN but unbowed, Ipswich Rugby Club's joint directors of rugby said they can take heart from their display despite losing in the Eastern Counties Cup final to Shelford.

Dave Broughton said: “The boys have performed very well to get to this stage and from what the historians tell me the last time we played in the Eastern Counties Cup final was 17 years ago and it is nearly 30 years since we last won it.

“So these boys can take immense pride in what they have achieved. Some of them are in their early 20s so to compete like we did against a Division 1 side like that was a great achievement.

“To lose an influential leader like Fraser Pratt after 25 minutes of the first half when we were still very much in the game was very sad and a big loss for the team, but the boys carried on playing for him.

“At 12-0 after the first half we were still in the game, but two early second-half tries made it an even harder task. No-one dropped their heads and the boys deserve credit for that.”

Nodding towards the changing rooms he added: “They are cock-a-hoop in there, not drowning their sorrows, and so they should be.

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“Hopefully we can keep everyone together, so roll on next season. They have proved they can get to the final and we will try to do so again next season.”

Fellow director of rugby Simon Hughes said: “There is now a structure in place at Ipswich to take the club forward.

“We are going to have a professional coach next year to coach not just the first team but the whole club, which will be a massive step forward for the club and rugby in Suffolk.

“Anyone who comes up here will be properly trained, and with the increasing number of players we are getting at the club we will have strength in depth which is the way to go forward.

“We have made steps towards that this year. We have beaten sides who have got a much larger playing budget, we have been fielding three teams each Saturday and we have got a great Colts set up, so the future looks bright.”

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