‘Toughest test’ awaits Fylde in trip to unbeaten Rotherham

​Fylde RFC face their “toughest test to date” at Rotherham on Saturday (2pm) after suffering their first home defeat for almost 18 months.
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​That's the view of joint-head coach Alex Loney as he seeks a response to Fylde's successive one-point losses in National Two North, the latest inflicted by Lymm on their first ever visit to the Woodlands last weekend.

All Lymm's points came from the boot of Tom Shard but Loney had no complaints over the 15-14 outcome.

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He told The Gazette: “It's massively disappointing to have lost but ultimately we weren't good enough to secure the win.

Coach Alex Loney.Coach Alex Loney.
Coach Alex Loney.

“You have to respect the league and the opposition, and you can't expect to win games based on previous seasons or expectations.

“It's an extra kick in the teeth to lose at home because we're proud of the record we've built here. Now it's up to the players to re-establish that winning feeling at home and away.

“Our error rate was too high. We got into decent positions, which we should have converted into more points. Twice we dropped the ball over the line.

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“You have to manage field position better because we let Lymm get into point-scoring range and they kicked the goals to win.”

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Fylde conceded numerous penalties for high tackles amid this season's tightening up of the rules to minimise head contact.

And Loney admits Fylde are still grappling with the clampdown and added: “Players are aware of the consequences of tackling high. Everyone is trying to find the balance and there is still a dialogue with officials over inconsistencies.

“I'm sure we will reach a place where the height of legal tackles is more defined but the players know the risk they run by tackling high.”

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Fourth-placed Fylde can expect a huge challenge against Rotherham – one of the two N2N sides to have won all their five games (Leeds Tykes are the other and have a maximum 25 points).

“Rotherham will be a massive game,” said Loney. “They have made a really good start, have made no bones about where they want to be this season. ”