STORURBRIDGE RFC’s injury curse looks to have returned at the worst possible moment as they prepare for a tough run of fixtures.

Stour went into Saturday’s 35-15 defeat at Sedgley Park without centre pairing Ben Barkley and Adam Billig, while they were also missing Ben Griffiths.

Prop Joe Baker is out of this Saturday’s home game with Cambridge but director of rugby Neil Mitchell believes his side cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves.

He said: “It’s not going to get any easier. After Cambridge we face Launceston and then Esher, who are sweeping all before them.

“It will be Thursday until we know who is available to play and we are not alone in having injuries. We just have to get on with it.”

Barkley (pictured left) damaged a hamstring in the warm-up for Saturday’s game, leaving them with an inexperienced backline.

After a promising start which saw tries from hooker Ben Gerry and Duncan White, Stour were left with two big a mountain to climb. A brace of tries in the third quarter from Sedgley Park centre Phil Jones and winger Lisi Tafa finished the game off.

Mitchell added: “Losing Ben so close to kick off was a hammer blow. It left us with a backline made up of four guys who were playing local junior rugby last season.

“They are all promising players, but lack the experience to deal with opponents who have spent many years at a higher level, it’s a lot to live up to.

“I thought we played intelligently and scored three good forward tries but we were always up against it.

“It’s frustrating because I’m sure had Ben and Adam played the result would have been reversed.”

Mitchell was also disappointed with several refereeing decisions, in particular being refused permission to replace injured prop baker.

He said: “There were some strange decisions and I’m not ususally one to complain about referees.

“I will be speaking to the RFU about it, replacing props is obviously a bit of a hot potato at the moment.”