DIRECTOR of rugby Rob Cook cut a happy figure following Malvern’s 23-15 victory over Stoke in Midlands One West on Saturday.
Cook made six changes to the team which lost 41-0 to Old Halesonians the previous weekend and the Spring Lane outfit started brightly, with Dan Batty touching down and Ben King adding the extras.
This seemed to boost Malvern’s confidence as repeated attacks on the Stoke defence led to a penalty which was duly converted by King to make it 10-0.
Luke Milton then scored to set up the conversion for Jasper Windsor-Clive.
Malvern crossed the line soon after but Dion Shekells-King’s effort was ruled out.
After the break Stoke took a quick penalty to score a converted try before adding another to bring the score to 17-12.
Malvern were then awarded a penalty, with Batty calmly kicking the ball over to stretch the hosts’ lead.
The visitors continued to press, though, and notched up another three points but that was as good as it got for Stoke as the Malvern defence stood firm to secure the victory.
Cook said: “After the Old Hales result we put in some pretty intensive training work to address the issues which arose in the game.
“I think you could see from Saturday’s performance there was a massive improvement in our play, despite a bit of a lapse after the break.
“Our younger lads are adjusting quickly to the pace of the adult game and our pack looked pretty stable.
“We will have many more games like Saturday where we will need to grind out results by concentrating for the full 80 minutes and I was pleased with the progress we made on the field.”
Malvern travel to Stourbridge Lions on Friday for an under-the-lights clash at Stourton Park.