02:15PM, Thursday 01 November 2018
Maidenhead RFC 14, Weston-super-Mare 24
Russell Bolton is keen to move on from Saturday’s 24-14 defeat to Weston-super-Mare, and says Maidenhead will be travelling to Newton Abbot with a point to prove this weekend.
For once this season Maids weren’t able to dominate their opponents in the pack and Bolton admitted to being surprised at how easily his side were dominated from a physical point of view.
The home side were forced onto the back foot in the opening stages, conceding twice before a third try on the stroke of half-time gave them a mountain to climb after the interval. Rorie Hannigan powered his way over to cut the deficit to 17-7, with Will Runciman bagging the extras, but a catch and drive put Weston in for a fourth try which effectively killed off Maids’ challenge. Andy Berry went over late on but it was scant consolation for a side that expects to dominate on their own patch.
“There were numerous factors (for the defeat),” Bolton said. “But credit to Weston, they came to us with an effective game plan and they executed it well.
“They dominated us from a physical point of view at set pieces and we struggled to adapt to that. From a coaching point of view we expected them to be competitive from set pieces but not to overpower us. We’ve been pretty dominant on that front against most teams in the league. They dominated from set pieces and made it difficult for us to build phases. I think we’d have fancied our chances of chasing two tries in the second half, but their third try on the stroke of half-time made it more challenging.”
“Yes, we had a couple of players missing and others haven’t been in top form for the past few weeks, but I don’t think we can use that as an excuse. Weston played really well to take us out of our comfort zone.
“We’re disappointed with our performance and it’s one we’re keen to move on from as soon as possible.”
Maids will now seek to soften the damage done by Saturday’s defeat by winning away at Newton Abbot on Saturday, and at home to Old Patesians the following week. The side have dropped to sixth in the South West Premier after Saturday’s results.
“We just struggled to adapt to Weston or put them under pressure,” added Bolton.
“I would have backed the side we put out to win nine times out of ten. Every club has players that are injured or can’t play every week. We just have to be a little bit better at dealing with it.
“We now play Newton Abbot, who were strong last season but have been struggling this season. We targeted a full house of points from Ivybridge (which Maids won
26-22), Weston, Newton Abbot and Old Pats.
“We’ll have to raise our level of performance but we’ll be going to Newton with a point to prove.”
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