Fylde RFC seek decision precision against Rosslyn Park

Greg Smith
Greg Smith

Decision-making in attack has been a focus of Fylde RFC’s training this week as head coach Alex Spragg bids to end a run of five straight defeats in National One.

READ MORE: Fylde RFC 0 Plymouth Albion 26
The bottom club’s mini-revival has halted either side of the Christmas break and Fylde now find themselves eight points adrift and 14 from safety ahead of tomorrow’s visit to London to face Rosslyn Park.

The tries have dried up in recent weeks, piling more pressure on Fylde’s defence to keep them in games.

In the last four matches Fylde have crossed the whitewash only once and have been nilled twice, including last Saturday’s 26-0 home reverse against Plymouth Albion.

Spragg told The Gazette the squad is working hard in training to rectify the point-scoring problem.

He explained: “We have to look at our decision-making in the opposition 22 and how we are tryin g to score.

“We will look to replay those scenarios and talk through the decision-making.

“We generally try to move the ball wide to score but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with being more direct and creating more pressure. But it’s all about learning.

“Similarly, when the opposition have a man in the sinbin, the instinct is to move the ball outside because of the extra man. But that isn’t necessarily the best way.

“You have to be able to scan the situation and execute – and we have worked on that as much as we can.”

Having lost their opening four games of the season, Fylde got up and running with a Woodlands win over Rosslyn Park and Spragg would love to end another losing sequence against the same opposition.

But the coach acknowledges the London club will be a different proposition on home turf and are in a fine run of form; unbeaten in four, they have won both games since Christmas.

Spragg added: “We have beaten them this season but it will be a big challenge to do it on their pitch. They had a good win at Bishop’s Stortford last weekend and it will be a big challenge for us but one we are up for.”

Despite the contrasts in the clubs’ fortunes, Spragg insists Fylde can be competitive.

He said of the Plymouth match: “It was frustrating in terms of conceding two late tries. At 12-0 we had two crucial opportunities to score.

“We had a try disallowed because Henry Hadfield had a foot in touch but people who have seen a video replay say that was not the case. We also lost an attacking lineout five metres from their line.

“But we were OK and the general organisation was decent.

“We lost the battle of the breakdown to a bigger side and they dominated the tackle area. We struggled for turnover ball and for possession generally.”

With his backline options still limited by injury, Spragg continues to try different combinations to get the most out of his resources.

Alex Dolly played at full-back last weekend and the coach said: “It’s about getting the best out of the players we have on the pitch.

“Alex is a competent ball player with a good skill set and defensively he’s OK. He has experience with us now and I’d like to see more of his character because he’s been quiet in the last couple of games.

“Greg Smith is at fly-half to get the ball moving for us. He has the ability to unlock defences playing on the front foot and has a great eye for a break, and we really need that to take opportunities when they appear.”