Fylde RFC players have to learn from Sedgley Park humbling

Head coach Alex Loney says long-lasting lessons must be learned from Fylde’s 38-0 home defeat by Sedgley Park and admits the promotion race is now “for others to worry about”.
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Fylde had won all nine games at the Woodlands this season until six-try Sedgley became the first team to do the double over Loney’s men.

The coach is looking for more than just a one-off response when Fylde visit Bournville tomorrow.

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Loney told The Gazette: “After such a bad loss you don’t just want a reaction for one week – it’s important that we learn from what happened. It’s not a game just to move on from and forget about.

Fylde were well beaten by Sedgley Park last weekendFylde were well beaten by Sedgley Park last weekend
Fylde were well beaten by Sedgley Park last weekend
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“There has been a lot of reflection since and a lot of conversations with Chris (Briers, Loney’s fellow head coach) and some players, and we all want to put it right. That has to be the focus – to see where we can be better.

“The key is not to try to fix everything because we haven’t suddenly become a bad team.

“We’ve proved we can compete against the best in this league but you can’t afford to fall down on the fundamentals as we did.”

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Such an off-day is difficult to explain but Loney admits his side were “completely outplayed” in all departments.

He added: “We were not at the races. Sedgley Park deserved their win and, for whatever reason, we weren’t in it.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t compete for a good crowd who deserved a tighter contest.

“Probably the only games in which we have not really competed or got into a position to win were the two Sedgley games, but they played well and we didn’t.

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“They scored three tries with drives from lineouts and I’m the coach responsible for that.

“It hasn’t been a regular issue but was one of many things in that game we should have done better.”

Fifth-placed Fylde remain 13 points behind National Two North leaders Hull, and although Loney’s side are still within striking distance of the three clubs immediately above them, they have played two games more.

The coach added: “Sedgley Park have put themselves back in the race but we’re too far from all of that and promotion is for others to worry about.

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“If other teams falter and we can catch up, then great, but realistically we aren’t anywhere near that race.

“We can still make an impact on it, though, with Hull and Stourbridge still to play, and we’ll try to win every game.

“We do want to be higher but the goal was to be a good team in this league, competing towards the top end.”

Conditions were dreadful at Fylde, where the home club had playmaker Greg Smith unavailable and Scott Rawlings suspended, while his fellow centre Joe Bedlow went off injured.

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Loney was not seeking excuses and added: “There were issues at kick-off but it was the same for both teams and everyone wanted to play.

“Sedgley handled the conditions much better and we just weren’t good enough.

“Greg has played every game. He is our starting fly-half and will be back in the mix for Saturday but we have full confidence in Adam Lanigan and Matt Sturgess, who I thought did well at number 10.

“Joe banged his shoulder and we didn’t want to take any risks with a young player who has a good career in front of him. We have to be sensible.

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“It’s disappointing with Scott because he would have had an impact on the game.

“It’s fair punishment, which he has accepted, and in two more games we will have him back.”

The next game is in Birmingham against a Bournville side who are on a four-game losing run and leaked 73 points when they visited the Woodlands.

“After a humbling defeat you want an instant reaction,” said Loney.

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“Bournville are a good team with threats all over the pitch and they nearly beat Rotherham.”

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