DIRECTOR of rugby Tom Rance praised the ‘faultless’ character and heart of his team following his side’s narrow defeat at Burton last Saturday.
Trailing 36-7 after 50 minutes, the Black and Whites produced a spirited second-half fightback but fell just short, going down 36-30.
It was the Black and Whites’ fourth defeat on the trot, but Rance believes the game at Peel Croft will ultimately prove to be the team’s turning point of the season.
“It was one of the best second-half performances I’ve seen Stratford play,” Rance said.
“At one point, we were down to 13 men and the character and heart of the team was faultless. These players are incredibly proud to play for Stratford.
“In terms of a platform for the rest of the season, I really think this is the turning point.
“The boys were fantastic, 1 through to 18.”
Stratford, inspired by a man-of-the-match performance from Craig Voisey, scored five tries through Dan Whitby (3), Jo Cook and Callum Cook. Nath Geekie converted one of the scores and kicked a penalty.
Rance added: “If there were ten more minutes of the game, we’d have won. Burton are a very strong side and I wouldn’t be surprised if they stay unbeaten at home all season.”
Stratford walked away with two bonus points to show for their efforts.
The Black and Whites are back in action this weekend when they take on Crewe and Nantwich at Pearcecroft.