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Bees need focus after close call

PROMOTION-chasing Birmingham & Solihull Bees must be sick of the sight of Cinderford as they prepare to beat them for a third time this season.

PROMOTION-chasing Birmingham & Solihull Bees must be sick of the sight of Cinderford as they prepare to beat them for a third time this season.

A crushing 53-3 win in the league back in November was followed last month by a narrow 38-26 success in the EDF Energy National Trophy.

But Bees, who are without player-coach Russell Earnshaw, know the Gloucestershire side will pose a much tougher test at the Recreation Ground tomorrow.

Last week at Sharmans Cross Road relegation-threatened Southend gave Earnshaw’s men a much-needed reality check.

The England Sevens assistant boss admitted that he had to have ‘a few quiet words’ with the team as they lined up under posts following the try that put the visitors 27-20 ahead midway through the second half.

“It was plain that the guys who control the game for us were not steering the ship correctly,” he said. “I told them we couldn’t sacrifice the championship here and that they knew what had to be done.”

Bees responded and secured the maximum points with a late show.

Rod Petty helped open up a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes but Andrew Frost improved Mike Stanley’s touchdown and added a penalty to level the scores.

Peddy added another and Woodrow converted before adding a penalty himself.

Once again Southend fought back through Luke Sloan and Frost, then the latter improved Chris Green’s try to put them ahead.

It was now that Earnshaw read the riot act and with some crucial substitutions – former skipper Matt Long coming on at loose head to shore up the scrum and Reece Spee at fullback to add some edge, Bees at last began to play.

Woodrow kicked a penalty then Petty got his hat trick after a trademark bullocking run from centre Cameron Mitchell.

Tries followed from Simon Hunt (two) and Spee as Bees survived a scare to record the win.

 

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