Fylde RFC seek a sixth straight win

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After a chilly week, Fylde RFC are hoping to catch Wharfedale similarly cold when they return to the Woodlands in National Two North tomorrow.

Fylde are looking to make it six straight wins, following on from last weekend’s victory at Billingham.

They welcome a Wharfedale team who sit fifth, seven points behind them, but with two games in hand after a four-week break..

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Last weekend’s postponement against Tynedale means they haven’t played since the defeat at Rotherham on December 16.

Fylde return to the Woodlands tomorrow when they host Wharfedale in National Two North Picture: Daniel MartinoFylde return to the Woodlands tomorrow when they host Wharfedale in National Two North Picture: Daniel Martino
Fylde return to the Woodlands tomorrow when they host Wharfedale in National Two North Picture: Daniel Martino
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In that time, Fylde have climbed to fourth and now aim to atone for their single-point defeat in September’s reverse meeting.

“You can put yourself in different mindsets in this scenario,” said Alex Loney, Fylde’s joint-head coach.

“Wharfedale can be fresh and raring to go or they will be short of match fitness.

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“I think the crux is Wharfedale are a quality side, who are at the top end of the league table with games in hand.

“We lost to them by a point but they are a team with lots of threats around the pitch and we’re fully expecting a hard game.

“We had back-to-back losses by a point against Wharfedale and Lymm, when we were disappointed after being in a winning position in both games.

“The focus is on getting our stuff right, as well as negating their threats, but that game there is in the distance.

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“We know they are a good side and Saturday is just another challenge for us.”

That 27-26 loss at Wharfedale kickstarted the proverbial season of two halves so far for the Woodlands squad.

Having won two and drawn one of the first three, that defeat began a run of six losses in seven which effectively ended any hopes of challenging the top two, Leeds Tykes and Rotherham.

However, victory at Otley in mid-November launched Fylde’s run of five wins which leaves them hot on the heels of third-placed Sheffield.

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It’s been a marked contrast of late and, when asked for the reason why, Loney said it had been a few weeks in the making.

“We’d felt like we’d been building since Leeds Tykes away, even though I know we lost that game (a 30-17 defeat on October 21),” he said.

“We saw a definite change in mindset and managed to build some momentum where we picked up positive results.

“I don’t think it was a negative thing in terms of effort and application, I think the penny dropped on some of the detail.

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“We just highlighted two or three things we weren’t quite getting right in games but the players have attuned to that and we’re seeing big improvements.

“The results have now changed and we’re on a good run but I don’t think our focus has changed as a team.”

Finally, while temperatures have plummeted this week, Loney doesn’t expect both teams to be frozen out tomorrow.

He said: “We trained on Tuesday night and, though it was cold and miserable, we had a good session.

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“Looking at the weather we’ve got to come, it’s warming up and we’re fully prepared for a game on Saturday.

“Wharfedale is a great fixture. We always enjoy it when we go to their place and we enjoy it when they come to us as well.”