Warren Spragg isn’t only pleased to report that no fresh injuries arose from his Fylde RFC side’s gruelling win over Sedgley Park last weekend .... he’s amazed.
“I don’t know how we’ve managed that,” admitted the head coach after a rearguard action in the 17-10 Woodlands win, the like of which he has never seen before.
Spragg explained: “In Sedgley Park’s last two passages of play they held the ball for almost 60 phases. They were attacking our line for nearly 10 minutes and had a penalty halfway through the period, which they kicked to the corner.
“It was nerve-wracking, but very impressive defence from us and credit to Sedge for keeping the ball for that length of time. I’ve not seen anything like it before.”
Fylde’s stamina will be tested again in tomorrow’s penultimate game of 2019 away to Sheffield Tigers.
National Two North’s fifth-placed side have suffered back-to-back defeats, most recently a 53-23 mauling at Hinckley, but Spragg is ready for a thorough examination on a heavy Door Moor pitch and says he planned the season with such bleak midwinter slogs in mind.
He added: “We brought in Scott Rawlings and Hal Chapman at the start of the season knowing there would be games when we would need to get on the front foot to get into our flow.
“Hal won’t be fit because he still has his shoulder injury, but Scott is doing a really good job for us and scored a good try against Sedge.”
That win opened up an eight-point gap between Fylde and Sedgley Park in third, with 100 per cent leaders Caldy four points above Spragg’s side.
And with the season reaching its halfway mark after tomorrow’s game, the coach said of Fylde’s position: “I’m very positive. The players and coaches are working hard and there hasn’t been a really poor performance all season. The two games we have lost have both been by a score.”
Besides Chapman and David Fairbrother, Fylde also expect to go to Sheffield without dual-registered backs Tom Roebuck and Joe Carpenter, who face reserve team action for Sale Sharks on Monday.
Fylde veteran Chris Briers is ready as ever to step in and came off the bench for the closing stages last weekend.
Spragg said of his fellow coach: “Chris has been around a long time but he is fit, naturally athletic, and he combines skill with experience.
“Chris has a lot of miles left and I don’t think he needs to think about hanging up his boots.”