Fylde RFC coach Warren Spragg could make changes for Wharfedale trip after drawing with Preston Grasshoppers

Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers drew last weekend
Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers drew last weekend
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Warren Spragg says his Fylde RFC side and Preston Grasshoppers will both feel frustrated at failing to claim victory in last weekend’s drawn derby.

Fylde had obvious reasons to feel disappointed, letting a 14-point lead slip in both halves and conceding a try in the 78th minute as Hoppers shared the Woodlands spoils, 24-24.

But Hoppers unquestionably finished the game the stronger and could rue not pinching all the points.

Head coach Spragg told The Gazette: “We would definitely look on the game as points that got away but so would they.

“We were fortunate the game ended when it did because we looked to have run out of energy and ideas, which was frustrating.

“It is clear we are not the finished article and there is a lot to improve upon, but I am fully confident in this group of players and we will learn from last weekend. We still got two points out of the game and have seven out of 10, which is not horrendous.”

Spragg admitted discipline was a key factor in the derby outcome. One crucial incident occurred when Fylde were two scores clear and were awarded a penalty in an attacking position against a Hoppers side with two players in the sin-bin.

However, they incurred the referee’s wrath and the penalty decision was reversed.

“That was a pivotal moment,” said Spragg. “We had other opportunities to score points in that 10-minute period but it was a moment of indiscipline and we need to uphold the values of the game. That was something we talked about in training this week.”

The disappointed coach is now set to make changes for tomorrow’s trip to Wharfedale, adding: “I think it needs some changes in terms of players coming into the side and there will be changes on the bench.

“We have a group of 28 or 30 we have a lot of confidence in and players will get a chance.”

One player who looks set to keep his spot is young scrum-half Adam Lanigan.

Spragg said: “Cameron Crampton is still a few weeks away (after picking up a pre-season knee injury) but Adam has started really well. He has done a good job for us.”

Tomorrow’s North Yorshire opponents beat Otley in their opening game but were edged out 17-14 at Sedgley Park last Saturday.

Spragg said: “Wharfedale were one of my favourites for promotion this season with the recruitment they have made.

“They should have finished higher last season and I’m surprised by their start, but we are expecting to face a top team.”