Arnold’s try prediction

Paul Arnold - aims to beat try drought
Paul Arnold - aims to beat try drought
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Fylde RFC lock Paul Arnold is making a two-pronged prediction.

He insists the team will bounce back from the disappointing defeat at the hands of Coventry six days ago – and that his personal try-drought will come to an end.

Arnold started the season with a flurry of tries, so much so that at one point he was the clear top scorer in National League One.

However, he has been stuck on 12 tries for several weeks.

Speaking before tomorrow’s visit to a Hull Ionians’ side already relegated, Arnold said: “I have not scored for 12 matches now, but I have played half-injured for the last eight or nine games.

“I had been on a good run, but the chances will come when the grounds harden up.”

Arnold was dismayed at the manner of the defeat by five tries to two at the hands of Coventry last Saturday.

He admitted: “It was very disappointing, especially as our home form has been so good, but we just weren’t at the races.

“Mentally more than anything else we had a bit of a poor warm-up and in training during the week, so we just have to put that right.

“There were a couple of try-scoring passes that just went to ground - on another day they would have stuck and we would have got a bit of a roll on.

“We had chances - if we had kept hold of the ball and scored a few points, we might have been able to have a good go.

“Coventry are the best side we have played this year, especially (they way they performed) at their place.

“You can’t take anything away from Coventry - they were outstanding and in the end they kind of ran away with it.”

Arnold said that Hull Ionians would not be under-estimated, even though they are certain to be relegated.

“We have trained for Hull, which will be a tough game.

“They had a good result at Blaydon a few weeks ago, so they are not going to be any walk-over by any stretch of the imagination.

“We just have to turn up and put the Coventry result right.”

Arnold said it should not be overlooked what Fylde had achieved in 2013-14

“We’ve have had a great season – we only brought in one or two new players, new faces who have fitted in fantastically.

“It has clicked and the rugby we have played is second to none.

“It’s a credit to everyone involved that they have bought into that – hopefully, Coventry was just a blip.”

Jordan Dorrington comes in at scrum-half for Ryan De La Harpe, who limped off at the end of the Coventry defeat with an ankle injury.

Coach Mark Nelson said: “The injury is not as bad as we first feared with Ryan.

“He will not be fit for two weeks - but he was unavailable for tomorrow anyway and the week after we don’t have a game.”

Skipper Evan Stewart returns to the back row after being absent since mid-January with a broken rib.

Lock Gareth Gore is unavailable, so Simon Griffiths comes in.

Fylde: Viney; Spragg, C Briers, S Briers, Brennand; Johnson, Dorrington; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, Griffiths, Arnold, Robinson, Stewart, Beaumont. Replacements: Wild, Maher, Vernon, Webb, Rath.