Kennedy refuses to use injuries as an excuse for Windsor RFC's defeat to Grove

Chris Emmett switched to play in the centre following injuries in Windsor's defeat at Grove.


Windsor head coach Neal Kennedy admits his side had plenty of issues to contend with during Saturday's disappointing 44-41 defeat at bottom club Grove, but he doesn't want to fall back on excuses.

A sluggish start, and costly injuries in the centre of Windsor's back line, left the visitors with a mountain to climb in the second half, as they trudged off 21 points down at half-time.

That they very nearly pulled off the comeback says a lot about this side's character, however, Grove held on for only their third win this season.

Windsor came into the game fully expecting to build on their 36-24 victory over Frome the previous week, but they played poorly in the first half and injuries, which led to Chris Emmett and Toby Davies moving from the forwards into the backline hardly helped matters.

“Our position in the league is not great but one of the targets we have is to beat teams that are in and around us in the table, and definitely beat teams that are below us,” he said.

“We really should have won, so it’s definitely a missed opportunity.

“The first 15/20 minutes really killed us. We conceded three tries early on, mostly through our own mistakes, trying things that didn’t come off – and there’s nothing wrong with that – or getting turned over in contact.

“We were 33-12 down at half-time so in the next 40 minutes we scored nearly 30 points and they only managed 11. So, the second half was fine, the issue was how we started the game.”

The injuries which led to Chris Emmett and Toby Davies moving from flanker and number eight into the centre also hampered the visitors’ hopes at a time when they were already struggling to get a foothold in the game. They did eventually adapt to those setbacks and find a way to breakthrough Grove’s defences, but unfortunately it was too little, too late.

“They did knock us a bit and we had to do a bit of reshuffling,” he added.

“We ended up with a flanker and a number eight in the centre, and it’s not that they can’t play there, but it doesn’t help you play the style of play you want to. We were a bit disrupted, and it sounds like an excuse, but even with this we think we still should have won.”

He added: “Chris and Toby are fit enough and quick enough to play in the centre, but we maybe had to alter our attacking play a little because they’re not as aware of the plays we normally do.

“But we managed to change our attack and with five minutes to go we won a penalty to get within four points. We thought we’d still have time to win the game, but we just couldn’t get close enough again.

“We didn’t start well, but we managed to get to within four points having been 21 down at half-time. Our target was obviously a five-point win, but we scored six tries and finished within seven points of them, so we got two points from the game.”

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