David Mobbs-Smith: 'Experience gained in matches against Oxford Uni and Rams'

Maidenhead RFC have had a busy weekend of action according to head coach David Mobbs-Smith, who guided his side through numerous games of competitive rugby at Braywick Park.

On Friday, Maids got through to the final of a Berkshire sevens competition where they were fell at the final hurdle to Lambs Rugby, losing 14-5. Founded in 2006, the Lambs are a club that welcome boys and young men to ‘showcase their rugby skills at a representative level when they have been unable to do so due to other commitments or lack of selection opportunities.’

Then, on Saturday, Maids welcomed Oxford University (2pm) and Rams (3.30pm) for back-to-back contact fixtures, with both ending in defeat for Mobbs-Smith’s men. The matches were played out over three 20-minute periods.

Irrespective of the results, Mobbs-Smith said he and his team were pleased to be back out and competing once more, and that the games gave the head coach opportunity to experiment and the players plenty to learn.

“We hosted the sevens on Friday and welcomed a decent bunch of lads and teams down to Braywick Park,” he said.

“It was really good, and we got to the final where we faced off against Lambs but were unfortunately beaten. Then, we played Oxford University and Rams a day later.

“Both Oxford and Rams are ranked above us, so we rotated our squad and made a number of changes every 20 minutes.

“We lost both matches but it was a brilliant experience and a great learning curve for us going forward. I treated these games almost like training matches because Oxford University are preparing for a varsity game and Rams were having a look at a lot of the players they’re looking to sign.

“It was just brilliant to get a run out against two sides that are ranked above us, and an excellent environment for the players to be in after all the work we’ve done.”

On continuing Maids’ preparations for the new season, Mobbs-Smith added: “We are playing Oxford Harlequins this weekend and then the players and management team will have five weeks off from Sunday before we get going with the official pre-season.”

“That’s why these recent games have been so important.

“We’re trying to get the people, and especially the younger players who haven’t played much adult rugby, an opportunity to play against men for the first time. It’s a brilliant experience for them to have and, naturally, we will be relying on these particular players in the league come September.”

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