Holder’s rally call to ‘our 16th man’

Scarborough celebrate after beating Blackburn in the quarter-final
Scarborough celebrate after beating Blackburn in the quarter-final

Director of rugby Mike Holder believes the town have a huge part to play in Scarborough RUFC’s huge National Cup semi-final on Saturday, 3pm.

Scarborough entertain Bridgnorth in a battle at Silver Royd that will leave the victor with so much more than the spoils.

Against Blackburn our support was immense. The crowd really took hold of the players and they responded to that

Mike Holder

The carrot awaiting the winner will be the dream opportunity to turn out at Twickenham - the home of English rugby - in the final of the competition.

It may be 16 years on, but Holder still has the emotional scars from the Scarborough’s last foray to the semi-final.

Holder was coach and number eight Matty Else both suffered heartache on that day in Billericay.

And he has called for the fan-backing that could help the current crop over the final hurdle.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to go through how hard that defeat at Billericay was,” said Holder.

“The players have got to know how much it hurt and who better to tell them than Matty Else, who played in that game and will be involved in this one.

“We go into this game as underdogs, as we did against Blackburn, because our opponents are used to winning.

“They are used to success because they have won every game they have played in this season.

“That was the case against Blackburn, but we got in their faces and they couldn’t cope with it.

“I’m not sure that will happen to Bridgnorth, but it is clear that we will have to start well.

“The crowd have a part to play in what is a massive game for the club.

“Against Blackburn our support was immense. The crowd really took hold of the players and they responded to that.

“They can really be our 16th man. The Bridgnorth coach has said that home advantage is the key. It would be great if we could get a super crowd down there on Saturday to really press home that advantage.”