Fylde RFC know the standard they have to reach this season

The challenge for Fylde RFC is to improve and match the quality of the pacesetters in National Two North.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 4:45 pm

So says joint head-coach Alex Loney after Saturday’s 37-22 defeat away to leaders Sedgley Park, who opened up a 37-3 lead before the visitors hit back.

Having won their first four games, Fylde have lost two of their last three against the unbeaten top two, Sedgley and Rotherham, who have shown the standard the Woodlands club must reach to compete for the title.

Fylde are now in fifth spot, seven points off the pace, and Loney accepted the Manchester club beat them fair and square last weekend.

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He told The Gazette: “Fair play to Sedge – they started well and put us under pressure.

“We did have some territory and possession, and a couple of kicks at goal, and we should have kicked on from there but they got on top and established a game-winning lead by half-time (30-3).

“It’s disappointing that we could not stay in the game and make it tighter but we can have no complaints. They are a good side and were better than us on the day.

“We’ve now lost against two good teams and I’ll be very surprised if they don’t continue to be in the mix until the end.

“We need to play at our best against the top teams and make sure we are in the right spot to perform.

“We have always performed in periods but we need to keep that going for longer when we face the toughest challenges. Now we have to regroup and try to get better.”

Fylde lost winger Henry Hadfield to a leg injury last weekend and will again be without back-rower Harlan Corrie for Saturday’s home clash with Bournville as he recovers from a head knock.

Loney will not use injuries as an excuse, adding: “Henry picked up a niggle at the start of the year and now gets a full assessment.

“Harlan won’t be back on Saturday but we have other players available and you trust the people in your squad. You will pick up injuries during a league season and we believe in these lads.”

The return of vice-captain and number eight Dave Fairbrother would be a welcome boost and Loney said: “Dave is getting close. I spoke to him on Tuesday and he is very committed, but you have to put the player first and bring them back when it will pay off in the longer term.”

Saturday’s promoted visitors from Birmingham are a club Fylde have never faced in league rugby before .

Bournville have lost all three matches this month but racked up 159 points in three games during September, including a remarkable 48-46 defeat to Rotherham.

Loney added: “Bournville have come into our league strongly and pushed Rotherham very close in a game they arguably should have won.

“We’ll show them respect but, first and foremost, we’ll be mindful of ourselves. The emphasis has to be on what we do.”

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