Fylde RFC have plenty to prove going into tomorrow’s National League One clash away to Hull Ionians, a point far from lost on skipper Chris Briers.
Fylde were left very much licking their wounds in the wake of Saturday’s home loss to Plymouth Albion, letting slip a 26-10 lead slip and collapsing to a 38-26 defeat as the match was turned on its head in the final quarter.
The manner of the defeat led to much post-match soul-searching in the confines of the home dressing room.
Briers said: “It was very frustrating. Obviously in the first half we were in a very commanding position and then in the last 10 minutes we blew it.
“There was a lack of composure from the team. We were not thinking clearly when we were making decisions.
“A couple of things went wrong - we spilled the ball and a few decisions went against us. We just seemed to implode when the pressure was on.”
And yet it had all looked so bright in the first half, demonstrating what Fylde were capable of achieving –against any side – when on their game.
Briers said: “The first half was brilliant. If we had carried on playing like that, it could have been a very comfortable win.
“But Plymouth had other thoughts and a lot of energy in the last 10 minutes. We just seemed to buckle under the pressure.”
Much of the week has been spent reflecting on the Plymouth defeat, and the ways and means of putting it right.
Briers said: “We have to have a think about it and make sure we come back with the right attitude.
“In the past we have shown that we can cope with the pressure.
“We were saying the right things about being composed, but saying it to each other is not enough.
“Everything coming out from the senior players was the right message but we weren’t acting on it. The word we used was that we were going to ‘reset’ the game, get ourselves back on an even keel and go from there - but it just didn’t happen.”
Briers says the focus is on correcting the flaws so glaringly apparent in the latter stages of the Plymouth match, regardless of whether the opposition occupies a place at the top or bottom of National One.
“Week in, week out I don’t really look at the table and where the next team is in the league,” the skipper said. “We just treat every game the same.
“Anybody can beat anyone else in this league. We can turn up and beat the top of the league; likewise, we go up against the bottom of the league and get battered.”
With an eye on the journey to Humberside, the Fylde skipper added: “When things go wrong and we do make a mistake, we have to make sure we don’t compound it with another.”