Shaw: ‘Winning this Will be Massive for the Town’

Beverley ARLFC captain believes his team’s ‘in-your-face’ defence can bring his side cup glory on Saturday.

Stand-off Davidson, 26, leads his team into their biggest match of the season when they take on Cottingham Tigers in the final of the Ray Speckman Cup at (ko 1.30pm).

In a season of ups and downs, victory over their biggest rivals will provide a massive filip for the club and Davidson believes a rough and tough approach can bring the cup to Beverley.

He told “Cottingham are our big rivals and this is something of a grudge match.

“We’ve played them twice this season, us winning at our place while they beat us quite heavily at theirs.

“We are definitely stronger in the pack, but when they beat us on their bigger pitch they got the ball out wide and with their powerful three-quarters they caused us a lot of problems.

“We have to get out there and meet them hard in defence. It will be a real physical contest and if we get things right in the middle of the pitch we will win it.”

At times this season, Beverley have found it tough to field sides in what Davidson, who scored a hat-trick in the match at Hodgsons earlier this season, has admitted has become more of a union town than a league town.

But a victory over Cottingham could be the boost the club needs to help it move up from the Hull and District League Division One and back to where they belong.

“This is great for the town and it could be great for the club,” continued Davidson.

“A lot of , including many who don’t come and watch us, have said they will be there at Haworth Park to watch. If we win the cup it will be something to really celebrate and hopefully it will bring more people down to watch us again.

“I think there could be a couple of hundred people from the town there, and if we win and keep winning, people will come back and start to get behind the club again.”

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If enthusiasm and commitment is anything to go by, Beverley have everything in their favour.

Coach put the squad through their paces at Hodgsons on Tuesday night, with emphasis on the side’s defence, an area he believes has been weak at times this season.

With everyone focused on the job at hand and the players taking things seriously, it bodes well for team.

But Shaw, 30, knows Beverley must execute their game plans well if they are to beat a pacy Cottingham side.

He said: “We have been weak in defence at times this season, and that is what we have been working on, as well as the transition from defence into attack.

“Cottingham like to get the ball out wide and get it out there quick, so we know we have to get in their faces from the word go and really close them down.

“We are strong in the pack, there’s no doubt about it. We’re good around the ruck and the play-the-ball, and if we get our defence right I know we can do well because we can play.

“It is special for us playing Cottingham, and we know it won’t be easy. Haworth Park is a big pitch and they like to get the ball on the edge quickly. We need to stop them with our line-speed and our markers, and stop their pivots from playing.

“Winning this would be massive for everyone involved with the club and for the town itself.”


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