Fylde RFC get set for their return to action at Sheffield Tigers
Fylde RFC return to National Two North action at Sheffield Tigers tomorrow after the season’s first break, knowing how little margin for error there is in the battle at the top end of the table.
Fylde have won seven of their nine games and are the division’s top point-scorers with 375, more than 200 of those piled up in their last three home matches.
Yet that is only good enough for fifth place in a hugely competitive league.
Stourbridge, the only club with a 100 per cent record, leapfrogged Fylde to go second by winning their catch-up match away to Loughborough Students last Saturday, when most of their rivals rested.
Fylde’s joint-head coach Alex Loney told The Gazette: “We said on the coach home from Blaydon (their last match) that if we’d been offered seven wins from nine before the break we’d probably have taken it, with those two defeats being away to very good teams (leaders Sedgley Park, who are six points clear of Fylde, and Rotherham).
“We do want to be competing at the top end and we’re happy with where we’re at, though we know there’s more to come from this group.
“We have tough games now in the run-up to Christmas, then you can take a proper look at the league table when you have played everyone and see where you are at.
“We’ve had some good wins and been there or thereabouts in terms of performances but what you strive for is consistency every week.”
As for the club’s free-scoring first stage of the season, Loney added: “I’m really happy that we are scoring points and we want to put teams under pressure, but ultimately we want wins and the performances that will earn them.
“We’ve also had some good defending and that’s important because there will be tight games.”
The two-week break between games will hopefully enable Fylde to have virtually a full squad fit and available.
Their ranks were boosted by prop Adam Lewis coming out of retirement for the Blaydon match.
Loney said: “That’s something that was intentional – it certainly wasn’t an SOS call.
“Adam’s work circumstances have changed, he’s well known to the squad and we’ve been talking for a while. It all came together and hopefully we’ll see more of him.”
Centre Scott Rawlings is set to make his 100th Fylde appearance tomorrow.
Tenth-placed Sheffield are another club to have played last weekend, losing at Tynedale, though they won their previous three games.
They have also won all three meetings with Fylde, two of them at their Dore Moor home.
If Fylde needed a lesson in the importance of maintaining discipline, they need look no further than their only Woodlands meeting with Sheffield in September 2018, when the visitors won despite being outscored by four tries to one.
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