Fylde got a monkey off their back according to director of rugby Mark Nelson as they ended a run of five without a win on the road against Henley – and he insists it is reward for their hard work.
Nelson’s troops made the trip south to Henley having last won away from home against Blackheath on September 21 and it was to finally be there day as Chris Johnson starred with the boot. He converted three tries and scored one himself – Oliver Brennand, Thomas Burtonwood and Ben Rath the others to dot down – while also kicking a drop goal and a penalty. That gave him a 17-point haul in the 32-21 win over Henley and director of rugby Nelson believed it was the least Johnson and the rest of the team deserved in SSE National League One. “We hadn’t won away from home for a while, which was a monkey we needed to get off our back,” he said. “The league has thrown up some interesting results, so we’ve just got the keep sticking in there.“It is massive because it was a situation that we needed to rectify. We have worked very hard in the last couple of weeks on our mentality, because it is a mental thing. Fortunately we got a win and that has lifted a weight off the team.“The ambition we showed was very pleasing and we were playing some excellent rugby in the first half. We have got a fantastic brand of rugby and we are showing shades of smartness to go along with our ambition, which is the envy of a number of teams in this league.”All of Fylde’s tries came in the first half as they went into the interval having shut Henley out and leading 26-0 but the Hawks were to pull within five inside 16 second-half minutes.
The unlikeliest of fight backs wasn’t completed though as a penalty and a drop goal from Johnson saw Fylde edge away but Nelson admitted it should have never come to that.
“It was a strange old game. We had a long journey but in the first half we got four tries. But Henley then scored a try and converted it, which gave them a bit of heart and they came back into the contest,” he added.“We were under pressure for significant periods of the second half. Overall it was a very good performance but we sort of let them off the hook a bit when we probably should have killed the game off.”