David Mobbs-Smith admits Maidenhead RFC were put under ‘a lot of scrutiny’ by Drybrook in Saturday’s opening league game.
But he felt his new-look side stood up to that well and were fully deserving of their 27-17 victory. Dave Coles powered over ‘with people hanging off him’ to get Maids off to a flyer before breakaway scores from Olly Foxley and Scott Prince gave the visitors much-needed breathing space on the scoreboard at the break.
Maids withstood a lot of pressure from their hosts in both the first and second half, and Mobbs-Smith accepted they probably deserved their late score to close to within 10 points at the death.
“There were times when it was really tight,” said Maids’ head coach. “They saw a lot of the ball and are a very good side.
“A lot of people were saying they look a lot sharper than they did last season and we were put under quite a bit of scrutiny.
“But the boys coped with it quite well. We withstood their pressure in the first half and went down field and scored two long range tries before half-time to take the game away from them. That was a crucial moment in the game.”
Mobbs-Smith pointed to Ed Keohane’s second half penalty to make it 20-10 as another key moment which turned the tide in Maids’ favour.
“They then had to score twice to win the game,” he said. “Parkin got the fourth try but that kick from Ed Keohane between the third and the fourth tries just gave us a 20-10 margin.
“Their final try came right at the end, with almost the last play. And, on reflection, they’ll feel they probably deserved that, and they’d probably be right. They had a lot of the ball and will be a bit disappointed it wasn’t even closer. But I think we played well enough to win the game.
“All our tries, except for the first one – which was a normal Dave Coles try, going over with three people on him – were scored from deep which shows you they were struggling to stop us
Maidenhead’s 2nd team also had an encouraging opening day result at Ealing in the Zoo League.
Maids found themselves 29-0 down at half-time before recovering for a 29-29 draw.
“I expect the Zoo League will be really competitive,” said Mobbs-Smith. “I coach them as part of the first team squad and then we pick the two teams for that weekend.
“We had 40 odd down to training and we’ll need that competition for places. Most of that side will play for the 1sts this season.”