Fylde RFC coaches have had an unwanted selection headache

Boss Alex Loney refused to use injuries as an excuse for Fylde RFC’s heaviest defeat of 2023/24 but admits the availability of players is a key difference between this season and last.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Fylde were seriously depleted for Saturday’s 45-22 loss at Tynedale but led at half-time, only to concede 35 points after the interval.

It’s almost two years since Fylde leaked so many in a game and indiscipline didn’t help.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The visitors were reduced to 13 players at one point, had two penalty tries awarded against them and ultimately saw packman Matt Garrod sent off for a second yellow card offence.

Fylde RFC joint-head coach Alex Loney reflected on their defeat at Tynedale last time out Picture: FYLDE RRCFylde RFC joint-head coach Alex Loney reflected on their defeat at Tynedale last time out Picture: FYLDE RRC
Fylde RFC joint-head coach Alex Loney reflected on their defeat at Tynedale last time out Picture: FYLDE RRC
Read More
In a fog on the Tyne

Joint-head coach Loney told The Gazette: “We’re really disappointed obviously. After a lot of toing and froing in the first half, we scored first in the second half and wanted to back that up by putting more pressure on.

“Unfortunately, the opposite happened and we had a crazy spell. We actually recovered well and scored with 14 players but then there were more errors and they ran away with it.

“It’s frustrating because there were a lot of things we had to get right but didn’t.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Loney was not looking for excuses and wouldn’t criticise the officials, adding: “I think the decisions were fair and I don’t have many complaints. A lot of them were the result of us not controlling things we can control.

“Yes, we had a few missing but that goes back to earlier in the season when we were losing games we felt we should have won.

“I had full confidence in the players and would be doing them a disservice if I said I didn’t feel that team could win.

“We have a good squad and we back them to give winning performances, but not having a full squad available is something you want to avoid.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fylde lost only three games all last season but have now lost nine this – as many as they have won – with seven still to play.

Loney admits the injury issues have been a key difference, explaining: “Last season we had a good squad in good health. We could have consistency in selection, we built confidence and we got on a roll. We were hit by a crazy injury list last season too but we got through it better.

“This season we have been unlucky with injuries and, throughout the season, we seem to have lost people at the wrong times. You want to make changes based on merit and not out of necessity.”

The return of the talismanic David Fairbrother, absent since October, would be a tonic for the back end of the campaign.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I've just had two messages from Fairy this week,” Loney said.

“It is a slow process with a back injury and you want to tread carefully, but he’s desperate to play and we hope to get him back this season.”

Fylde’s first priority is to get back to winning ways on Saturday at Huddersfield (2pm).

National Two North’s bottom club have won only twice all season and were thumped 62-19 at the Woodlands in November.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Loney said: “We want to get more consistent and win games regularly. Huddersfield have found it tough this season and we had a good performance against them.

“Yet it isn’t long since we went there and didn’t get the result and they are a different proposition at home, so we will give them full respect.”