WHITCHURCH launch a critical run-in to the season this weekend that coach Scott Sturdy admits will determine whether the club escape relegation from the Midlands 1 West.

Rooted in the bottom three after four straight defeats, the Reds have just six games remaining – two at home and four away – as they bid to preserve their status in the division.

After being without a game last weekend, their quest for safety starts with a trip to Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, followed by a visit to Worcester the next week, and then a home encounter with Wolverhampton.

Whitchurch will look to pick themselves up from their 23-22 loss at home to Stratford-upon-Avon in their last action after the Warwickshire side took the points with the very last kick of the game.

Despite picking up a losing bonus point, the last-gasp defeat kept the Reds languishing five points adrift of safety.

“It was a fantastic performance. We showed we are a different proposition when we get four or five players back, and it was tough to lose at the end,” said coach Scott Sturdy.

“Unfortunately, that defeat has left us with a lot to do. We’ve now got Sutton Coldfield away on Saturday, and then go to Worcester the following week.

“These are two teams we have beaten at home, and we really now need to win both away. How we get on in those games will determine our season."

*For a full Whitchurch rugby round-up, see this week's Whitchurch Herald.