Chris Briers says Fylde RFC mindset is right for Hull after outstanding win over Stourbridge

Fylde RFC boss Chris Briers hailed Saturday’s performance as arguably their best of the season to defeat previously unbeaten Stourbridge.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 12:30 pm

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Fylde remain fifth in National Two North after the 15-10 victory at a storm-lashed Woodlands but are only two points behind second-placed Rotherham and five behind Sedgley Park, who replaced Stourbridge at the top.

Joint head-coach Briers told The Gazette: “Conditions were horrendous. The forecast said it was going to get better but it actually did the opposite.

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Scott Rawlings celebrates his try in Fylde's victory over Stourbridge

“It was possibly our best performance of the season and supporters were telling us afterwards it was the best in years, so we’re really, really pleased.

“We could not play open rugby in those conditions but we still played fast. We managed to keep the tempo high and keep the ball in play for much of the game.

“We kept working hard and took the opportunities when they arose. There were a couple of decent kicks to get us over the line after all our hard work.

“The second half performance was particularly strong in terms of accuracy. We had possession for long periods and only dropped one ball.”

There was a baptism of fire for impressive front-row debutant Joe Higgins. Briers added: “A few props have taken knocks. Sam Kyle-Clay was injured and Adam Lewis was unavailable. Lymm RFC allowed us to take Joe and he did really well.”

All Fylde’s good work could have been ruined at the end, when a last-minute penalty failed to find touch and the visitors almost scored.

“The players were celebrating when the penalty was awarded but the wind brought the kick back into play,” added a relieved Briers. “There was a lesson to be learned about celebrating too early because it almost cost us the game.”

And as Fylde prepare for their final away game of 2021 at third-placed Hull tomorrow there’s also a lesson about mindset to be learned from the one-point defeat at Luctonians on their last road trip.

The Woodlands club have won all six home games this season but have lost three of their last five away, and Briers knows their form on the road must improve to sustain a title challenge.

“It’s about our mentality when we turn up for away games,” he said. “We know we can beat anyone but we have to be mentally ready. We did not perform at Luctonians and that was down to our approach not being right.

“You have to bring yourselves up to the same level you are at when you play the big teams. And on the back of this weekend we will go to Hull with the right mindset.”

And Briers is hopeful that the prolific Tom Carleton, who scored the first of Fylde’s three tries against Stourbridge but was forced off injured, will be able to play on Humberside. “Tom just got a dead leg which seized up, so it was best to take him off but hopefully he will be okay for Saturday,” he explained.

Hull have by far the best defensive record in all three National League competitions, conceding just 11 points per game on average.

Fylde haven’t visited Hull’s Ferrens Ground for a decade, their two games there ending in a win and a defeat.

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