Fylde RFC hope to end the year on a high

Alex Loney will make his first appearance of the season for Fyldes seconds after seven months out with injury
Alex Loney will make his first appearance of the season for Fyldes seconds after seven months out with injury

Warren Spragg hopes a “chaotic week” in training will help Fylde RFC to end the year on a high at home to Caldy tomorrow.

The head coach doesn’t mean he wants disorganised sessions, rather ones which best replicate the mayhem of a match situation before National League One’s bottom club host Caldy at the Woodlands (3pm).

It’s a massive match against the Wirral club, as Spragg explained: “We’ve had a win so far in December, a close loss and a match in which we feel we were robbed by the second-placed club, so if we can end December with two wins it will be a really positive end to the year.

“Two wins a month from here on and we will give ourselves a chance, so there is a lot to play for and a lot riding on Saturday’s result.”

Fylde remain rooted to the bottom, one point behind Old Albanians but nine adrift of third-bottom Hull Ionians, after last weekend’s 21-0 loss to Loughborough Students, a match which was try-less for more than an hour, until the hosts pulled clear with a long-range interception and a penalty try.

Spragg added: “Last weekend was disappointing because we didn’t capitalise on our chances and made some tactical errors.

“Our general defending is good and we gave ourselves a chance to be in the match, but it’s about making good decisions under pressure in attack.”

And that’s where the chaotic training comes in as Spragg explains: “We try to make it as chaotic as possible, because it’s one thing making clear decisions in training when you are not under pressure.

“You need to be able to make good decisions in a high-intensity match situations and when fatigue is a factor. But we are all working hard to get better in these situations.”

The week’s big boost on the fitness front for Fylde concerns hooker Alex Loney, who will make his first appearance of the season for the seconds.

The Lancashire captain ruptured an Achilles tendon on County Championship duty against Cheshire seven months ago and has endured a lengthy rehabilitation process.

Spragg hopes to welcome him back to the first XV frame in the New Year but for this weekend will be calling on largely the same squad as at Loughborough.

However, the coach isn’t short of options, explaining: “A few lads took knocks last weekend but have responded and should be good to go.

“This is potentially the fittest squad we’ve had all season, with 27 or 28 players available, including the dual-registration players who have trained this week.”

Caldy defeated Fylde 37-19 at their Paton Field ground at the start of the season but otherwise found the step up to National One a tough one after promotion. And although they have found their feet of late and climbed to 10th, Caldy have won only once away all season.

Spragg said of tomorrow’s opposition: “Caldy have a good group and I’m pleased they have climbed the table bacause it’s good for north-west rugby.

“They have made additions in the backs and have a really good playmaker in Rhys Hayes.

“We are really looking forwards to a genuine North West derby between the top two sides in the region outside the Premiership.”