Time to stop telling hard-luck stories, says Fylde coach

Paul Arnold
Paul Arnold
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As Fylde RFC prepare for their home match with Plymouth Albion tomorrow, player-coach Paul Arnold admitted: “We have to start making our own luck.”

Fortune does not appear to have been on the side of Fylde so far this season nd this is backed up to some extent by the bare statistics.

Too often it has been a story of narrow defeats for the Woodlands club, epitomised by the agonising loss by a solitary point to National League One pacesetters Richmond last Saturday, seven days after losing to second-placed Hartpury College, again by the most slender of margins.

Fylde have picked up 13 bonus points this season – no club in the division has more.

Of these, seven have been for four-try wins, while six have come by way of losing by a margin of seven points or less.

Arnold said: “It has been the story of our season so far, and some of the games we have lost have been very tight.

“People could say we have been unlucky on occasions but it is a question of making our own luck.

“I can’t fault the lads for the effort they are putting in.

“The performance at Richmond was a lot better than it had been the previous week against Hartpury College.

“Richmond are top of the table and deservedly so because they are a very good side.

“We had been working very hard on our defence, and it was a good performance to ‘nil’ them in the second half.

“In fact, it was a match we could have won. We should have been awarded a penalty at the end of the match (Anthony Bingham was tackled late after scoring a last-gasp try).

“The referee rang me up to apologise afterwards that he didn’t give it.

“The way Chris Johnson was kicking, I would have backed him to get it.”

Had it been awarded, the penalty in question would have been from the halfway line – effectively giving Fylde the opportunity for a 10-point try which would have sealed the game.

Tomorrow’s opponents Plymouth will arrive at Ansdell with a big point to prove.

They will be looking to hit back after getting stuck in the mud at their Brickfields ground last weekend and suffering a surprise 17-7 defeat at the hands of Hull Ionians.

The Humbersiders clearly relish their role as spoilers, having done a number on Fylde in Devon in September.

Albion’s loss to the Ionians ended a five-match winning run for the side coached by former England hooker Graham Dawe.

Arnold said: “Graham Dawe will have Plymouth very well organised and he is a very successful coach. I have also played against him.

“He will have the scrummage and lineout well organised.

“That’s why we are putting out a big, physical pack but a team that can play rugby as well.”