Fylde RFC fired-up for grand finale to home campaign

“If we need any extra motivation for this game there’s something wrong,” says Fylde RFC boss Chris Briers ahead of tomorrow’s return to National Two North action after the Easter break – and he clearly has a point.
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Fylde RFC boss targets three wins after Easter break

The 3pm kick-off with Otley is the final match of the season at Fylde’s Woodlands home, against one of the three teams to have defeated them – and that 28-27 loss in West Yorkshire was a particularly agonising one.

Besides revenge, second-placed Fylde are targeting an unbeaten Woodlands campaign.

Ben Gregory will miss Fylde's final home game of the season against OtleyBen Gregory will miss Fylde's final home game of the season against Otley
Ben Gregory will miss Fylde's final home game of the season against Otley
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No team in the league can match their tally of 461 points on home turf from 11 wins and a draw.

That draw was against Sedgley Park, who top the table by 12 points and can seal the title with a home win over Sheffield Tigers tomorrow.

Joint-head coach Briers told The Gazette: “We’re definitely looking at three wins to complete the season and not concerning ourselves with Sedgley Park.

“We want to finish on a high and do the best we can in the remaining games.”

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Fourth-placed Otley have fared by far the best of this season’s promoted teams.

The North One champions were something of an unknown quantity when they pipped Fylde in early February.

Briers isn’t looking for excuses, though, and added: “We owe Otley and we felt we let ourselves down there with some uncharacteristic errors. We need to put in a good performance.

“They had some really good ball-carriers and offloaded well but missed tackles were our downfall.

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“We missed more than we have in most games this season and if you give those opportunities to teams at this level, they will exploit them.

“The lads are up for it and ready to go but it’s about clarity of thought and decision-making on the day.”

Two weeks on from their last game, the tense 33-30 victory at Sheffield Tigers, Fylde are refreshed but will be without captain Ben Gregory.

The hooker was forced off early in that match with a head injury, replaced by Sam Parker.

Briers added: “Ben will be a big loss but Sam is great.

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“He’s a fiery little character, who always puts 100 per cent in and is good in the gritty games.

“Otherwise we’re in pretty good shape and have shown we have strength in depth.”

That depth should only increase next season, with most of the current senior squad already signing up, talks with potential new arrivals ongoing and – Briers confirmed – one deal already over the line.

Otley still have four fixtures to play and so their season will not end until May 6, the date on which many Fylde players will be hoping to start the County Championship campaign with Lancashire.

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Fylde will not stage a county game next month, meaning tomorrow’s match is the final senior fixture of the campaign at the Woodlands.

Sedgley Park will host Lancashire’s home clash with Yorkshire on May 20, following visits to Cheshire and Hertfordshire in their other Bill Beaumont Division One North group matches.