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Mitch says refs treat Stour "like Manchester United"
8:49am Friday 11th January 2013 in Stourbridge RFC
NEIL Mitchell says officials should stop treating Stourbridge RFC like Manchester United.
The Saxons director of rugby has spoken to the RFU about the refereeing of last Saturday’s 40-0 win against Huddersfield, in which both Will Harris and Jamie Hearns were shown yellow cards during the closing stages.
Mitchell feels Stourbridge’s domination of National Two North this season — they have won all 17 games with a bonus point — is starting to have a detrimental effect on the way they their games are officiated.
He said: “Huddersfield were penalised 19 times and there were four more occasions where advantage was played.
“We were penalised six times and ended up with two men off the pitch. The statistics speak for themselves.
“Will Hearns came on for the last seven minutes and was sin-binned.
“You had a situation where people were booing at the end of the game, after we had just won 40-0.
“If it was a dirty game and the cards were fair you might understand but they weren’t.
“I mentioned it after the DK game but I do worry about this Manchester United factor creeping in as far as we are concerned.
“There seems to be the idea when we have the game in the bag anything goes. We have been a dominant side and I don’t feel we should be punished for it.
“I’m not asking for anything special, just that our lads are given a chance.”
Stour’s seemingly unstoppable march to the league title continues this Saturday when they visit bottom-placed Stockport.
Stefan Cooksammy and Sione Tu’ipotolu are both carrying knocks and may not feature, while Mitchell has warned of the danger in facing a struggling side.
He said: “We found out for ourselves last season, when you have nothing to lose you go for it and sometimes it just clicks.
“Extremes can often work against you. We are top and they are bottom but what better incentive could they have to beat us?
“We don’t even consider the league table when facing opponents. We have an away game against a league opponent and our attitude will not change.”