Fylde RFC are back on form ahead of facing bogey side Blaydon

Fylde RFC put their defeat at Sedgley Park behind them in terrific style and head to Blaydon full of confidence for tomorrow’s final game before the first break in the National Two North season.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 4:45 pm

After their second defeat of the campaign at Sedgley, Fylde battered Bournville 73-7 at the Woodlands last Saturday, taking their points tally to 230 from four home games.

Fylde’s next priority is to improve a dismal record at Blaydon, having lost nine of their 10 league games at the County Durham club since 2003/04.

Joint head coach Chris Briers told The Gazette: “We needed to put things right because it was disappointing against Sedgley. We knew what we wanted to do and to achieve there but we didn’t do it.

Phill Mills made a welcome return for Fylde last weekend

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“Credit to Sedgley, who prevented us playing how we wanted to at times and they are obviously a good team.

“We had a really positive week in training and we wanted a good reaction on Saturday.

“We said that we would not dwell on the Sedgley game and would move forward, and that showed against Bournville.

“We have always liked to play a good brand of attacking rugby and it really came together.

“It was also pleasing to have such a low score against us. Basically we carried on scoring and we didn’t let them in.”

The Birmingham side still sit in the top half of the table which, even at this early stage, suggests a gulf between the leading handful of teams and the rest.

It means the Woodlands return clashes with Sedgley and Rotherham – the other team to have beaten fourth-placed Fylde – are already looking like massive matches in the New Year if Briers’ players are to challenge for the title.

He wouldn’t disagree and added: “Bournville had started the season well and only lost to Rotherham by two points, so we were expecting more of a challenge and not a victory of that sort.

“It does look like four or five are breaking away and the return matches against Rotherham and Sedgley probably are key games, though that would still have been the case had we won them.”

The balance in the Fylde squad was impressive on Saturday, with the eagerly-awaited returns of number eight Dave Fairbrother and Phill Mills adding experience in the pack, while another young player made his full debut in winger Sam Fisher.

Briers said: “Dave was feeling good and itching to play. He has gone out there and shone, and was the man of the match.

“It’s good to have that depth in the squad and to give people opportunities. Sam did a great job and did pretty much everything we could have asked of him.

“We’re still missing a few players: Scott Jordan has tweaked a hamstring, Henry Hadfield’s hamstring will be assessed this week and Harlan Corrie may be out for another week after concussion.

“It may be we have a full squad or thereabouts after the break next month.”

Before that weekend off Fylde head to the North East tomorrow to face a Blaydon side with just one win to their name so far.

“Blaydon have found it difficult and haven’t had the start they would have liked, but we won’t take them lightly,” stressed Briers.

“Historically, we have not been great there and they might be looking to have a go, so we have to avoid the banana skin and make sure we do the job.”

Captain Ben Gregory and full-back Tom Carleton are both set to make their 100th first-team appearance for Fylde tomorrow.

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