04:00PM, Monday 18 October 2021
Maidenhead scrum half Jack Hill is keen to move on from Saturday's 48-29 defeat to Hertford at Braywick Park, but he knows they won't be able to do that with any success unless they address their defensive problems.
Offensively this wasn't the side's worst display of the season, they ran in four tries and repeatedly threatened in the Hertford 22, however, when they didn't have the ball, they looked all at sea as the visitors ran in eight tries.
At times in the second half, it was far too easy for their opponents to break tackles and set up scoring opportunities.
Maids knew what was coming, but at times in the second half they didn't seem to be able to a lot about it.
Hill accepted it wasn't good enough, that tackles had been missed and that Maids are still adjusting to the skill and speed of teams in the London & South East Premier. But, after five defeats from their opening six matches, they need to find a way to adapt and stem the flow of points against them.
“The defence wasn't at it today,” Hill conceded afterwards. “They made too many easy breaks and we just didn't front up with our first tackles.
“But we've got to look forward and try and build again for the coming weeks. We know we need to go back and find out what is happening to our defensive shape and structure so we can find a way of stopping teams from scoring so easily.”
Whether the defensive structure needs tweaking or overhauling is open for debate, with the side having conceded 181 points so far this season, however, they have to strike the right balance between attack and defence because when they concede possession in this league, wherever they are on the field, they look vulnerable. Hill added that the contrast with the South West division is stark.
“It felt like they weren’t having to do a huge amount to break us down and that’s disappointing,” he said.
“We want to be better than this and we’ll work on things to try and sort it out. There's definitely a difference between the South West and the South East. It's a slightly faster pace.
“In the South West you get big boys running at you hard, but in this league the ball gets turned around a lot more and you have to adjust to that.
“We’d like to think of ourselves as a creative side that can throw the ball around but first, we’ve got to earn the right to do that. I don’t know about going back to basics, but we’ve just got to get our defensive structure right, tweak it a bit, find out where our issues are and come again, but today was very disappointing.”
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.