Fylde RFC won't take Hull Ionians lightly

Alex Loney is in no doubt about the task facing Fylde RFC when they welcome Hull Ionians to the Woodlands tomorrow.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:45 pm

The match pits fourth against sixth in National Two North with both having posted wins on their returns to action last weekend.

Fylde posted a first victory over Sheffield Tigers, 43-12, while Ionians were 51-19 winners against Blaydon.

That made it back-to-back wins for tomorrow’s visitors, who had won four of their opening five matches and whose three defeats have all been by seven points or fewer.

Tom Grimes has a dozen tries for the season, two behind team-mate Tom Carleton

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Fylde RFC boss Alex Loney welcomes break in season

It leaves them sixth in the table, four points and two places behind Fylde, who are only five points adrift of leaders Stourbridge.

“They had a win last weekend and I’ve no doubts they will be hoping to come to our place and get the win,” said Loney, Fylde’s joint-head coach.

“We have got to be on our mettle, meaning we need to go into the game having trained well and then perform well on Saturday.

“We will have to be at our best if we want to win but you only have to look at the table to see the way the season looks to be going.

“The way we’re approaching it is we know there is quality in the league regardless of where any team is in the table.

“Sedgley Park were flying but they were beaten by Stourbridge, which pulled everyone closer together.

“I’ve got no doubts that, throughout the year, there are going to be wins or losses that might surprise people but that just shows that, if you aren’t at it one week, you won’t win.

“There’s quality throughout the league, and even though we have scored a few points, we aren’t underestimating any of the teams we’re coming up against.

“There is still a lot of rugby to be played and I think teams are still recovering from coronavirus, in terms of personnel or just getting back into playing.”

Saying Fylde have scored ‘a few points’ is one way of describing their attacking play so far.

Ten games into the league season and they have posted a league-high 418 points, 50 ahead of Sedgley Park.

Sixty-three tries have been scored in that time, making Fylde the most prolific of the 47 clubs in the three National Leagues.

Loney added: “We’re really happy to be scoring tries but we don’t want to get away from how those tries are created.

“There are details in place and the working parts have to come together; the forwards to the backs all have their jobs to do and it’s an appreciation of the work the boys put in.

“It’s really pleasing to have scored the number of tries we have but, ultimately, it’s not just going to be scoring tries that brings us success.”

Nevertheless, Fylde possess the division’s top two tryscorers this season with Tom Carleton leading the way on 14, two ahead of Tom Grimes.

While it would be easy for those two to hog the limelight, Loney reiterated their individual successes are a result of the collective effort.

“I think they would be the first to recognise that,” he said.

“We have to find them the space but also make sure the team is working as a whole, that’s where our focus is at.

“We don’t focus on individuals in terms of trying to get them tries or just giving the ball to somebody.

“We know we have threats in our team but we have to put teams under pressure to give us opportunities to score.”

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