Fylde RFC look to bounce back against league leaders
Fylde RFC boss Alex Loney admits the side “massively underperformed” at Luctonians last weekend and he expects a major improvement for their crunch match at home to league leaders Stourbridge tomorrow.
Joint-head coach Loney blamed a lack of intensity for the 15-14 defeat, Fylde’s third of the National Two North season, which saw them slip to fifth place.
Loney told The Gazette: “It was an underwhelming performance. It was a physical and abrasive game and that’s where they beat us.
“It wasn’t a case of them using field position better than we did. They caused us issues through a lack of intensity, which was disappointing. We massively underperformed and should have done better.
“To be fair to the players, they have turned up at other games and been physical, energetic and really at it, but we didn’t seem to have that on Saturday.
“I don’t think there was a particular reason but we said at Blaydon, where we did get it together for a win, that if you go to an away ground and are off on your intensity you will get caught out, no matter where teams are.”
Not for the first time this season, Fylde’s cause was not helped by yellow cards, Scott Rawlings and Ben Gregory spending time in the sinbin.
Loney said: “It seems to be the go-to situation this season that the first offence in a maul is punished by a yellow card.
“It’s obviously a trend and we have to learn because we don’t want to keep losing people.
“It is a case of working out why that performance happened and not letting it happen again, but I have no doubt we will be where we need to be on Saturday when we are at home to the team at the top of the league.”
Stourbridge have won all 10 games to date but didn’t play last weekend, when conditions prevented opponents Blaydon from travelling.
They are six points above Fylde with two games in hand and the Woodlands side are anxious not to fall further behind in their bid to challenge for the title.
However, Loney insists it’s too early to be talking about must-win games and added: “If we lose, obviously there will be more of a gap but I don’t know if it will be decisive.
“Stourbridge have missed a few games and will have to play a lot after Christmas. It’s a bit early to say it’s make-or-break but we don’t want to slip up in any game and we need to regroup.”
It’s the first of three mouthwatering matches before Christmas for Fylde, who then visit fourth-placed Hull before their festive fixture at home to Chester.
Loney said: “I suppose Stourbridge are the surprise team this season based on their position before Covid but they are clearly in good shape and the league table does not lie.
“We will have to play well to beat them but we will make sure we are in a good place to perform on Saturday.”
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