Fylde RFC look forward to playing league matches back on home soil
A good journey, good performance and good result – Fylde RFC could not have been much happier with their long-awaited return to league rugby last Saturday.
Their first competitive game for 18 months saw Fylde launch the National Two North campaign with seven tries in a 48-24 victory at Tynedale.
Seven debutants got off to a winning start, as did the new head coaching team of Chris Briers and Alex Loney.
Briers told The Gazette: “The result is exactly what we wanted. We started well and there were really good pieces of play throughout.
“There was a bit of a blip on a couple of occasions, when we let them back into the game, but we managed to ride out the rough patches, regain our momentum and score a few more tries.
“There were spells when we weren’t all at it collectively but we’re not going to be too hard on them after the first league game in such a long time. Of course they will be a bit rusty and there are things to work on but everyone on the coaching team is happy.”
There was a two-try debut for Scott Jordan, while fellow winger Tom Grimes also bagged a brace.
Indeed, Fylde made light of the absence of prolific centre Connor Wilkinson as all seven tries were scored by backs.
Briers added: “Scott joined us around the time Covid first hit last year, as did Matt Sturgess (scrum-half), so they have had to wait a long time but all the debutants did well.
“It’s pleasing people talk about our strong backline, but without the forwards winning the breakdown and being competitive up front the backs would not get the opportunities. It’s very much a collective effort and the pack put in a real shift.”
This Saturday, Fylde face a Loughborough Students side who also began the campaign with victory in the North East, 27-23 at Blaydon.
“Historically, Loughborough have wanted to play a faster game and their style is probably different to Tynedale’s,” added Briers.
“Since they last played league rugby, the Loughborough team has probably changed a lot with people leaving university, so we’re going into the unknown but that’s the same for everybody this season.”
What matters most is that Fylde return to their Woodlands home for the 3pm kick-off buoyed by a winning start.
“We can’t wait to get back playing at home,” said Briers.
“We’ve had a couple of runouts (last month’s warm-up games against Preston Grasshoppers and Sale FC) but there’s a different atmosphere for a league game and a bit more buzz about the occasion. We really want to put on a show for the supporters.”
Fylde have also resigned versatile forward Harlan Corrie, who made 39 first-team appearances over two seasons (2017-19).
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