Hartpury College v Fylde preview: Shock to the system for Turley
The way the start of the season has unfolded at Fylde RFC must be quite a culture shock for second row Jack Turley.
Three defeats in a row in National League One is hardly the ideal beginning and tomorrow they visit Hartpury College, the only side left with a 100 per cent record.
Fylde’s losing run is in stark contrast to what New Zealander Turley experienced playing in Scotland with Heriots, the club he skippered to the treble of BT Premiership, BT Scottish Cup and Charity Shield last season.
But Turley is remains upbeat over prospects for the remainder of the campaign – but only if Fylde start attaining a consistent level of form.
Third-bottom Fylde have picked up three points this season – all bonus points – two of them coming in the 25-24 loss at home to Blackheath last Saturday.
Fylde outscored the London club by four tries to three but still lost. Turley said: “If we had been a bit more clinical, we would have come away with a win. But you create your own luck and we put ourselves under a lot of pressure. We squandered a lot of opportunities.”
Asked about the spirit in the dressing room, Turley said: “There are definitely a lot of disappointed people. At times we are playing some great rugby; sometimes it is at the other end of the spectrum.
“So if we get that consistency, everything will fit into place and it is a long season.
“The results obviously aren’t going our way at the moment but at times we have shown how well we can do.
“It is just a question of doing it for 80 minutes.”
Turley is having to adapt to the different demands of English club rugby, compared to what he was used to north of the border.
He said: “The game is a bit faster down here. That has something to do with the kind of tracks we play on, which are also fast.
“Fylde obviously play an attacking game, so it is different to what I have been used to up in Scotland, where we clash horns a bit more. Playing here suits my style. I like to play that expansive game and I definitely think I have come to the right place.”
Turley is combining his rugby with starting up a business in the area. And in the long term he plans to settle in the UK on a permanent basis.
He said: “I have settled in and St Annes is a great place. I have started an outdoor heating business here. It has been running for about a month now and is going really well.
“I have one more year on my ancestral visa and I am looking to apply for permanent residency.”
Fylde RFC are forced to make changes for tomorrow’s testing trip to Hartpury College.
Two of their most experienced campaigners, scrum-half Greg Nicholls and back row Evan Stewart, have been ruled out.
Nicholls has work commitments as an on-call doctor, while Stewart has a hand injury. In Nicholls’ absence, Fylde are looking to bring in Connor Dever from Sale Jets.
Another Sale player George Nott, an England Under-20 international, could be drafted in to replace lock Nick Gray, who sustained a neck injury in training.
Player coach Paul Arnold is not yet ready to come back after concussion. He said: “I will probably give it another week because we have big October.”
Jordan Dorrington returns at full-back after a shoulder injury.
On paper tomorrow’s game looks something of mismatch, with leaders Hartpury boasting the last 100 per cent record in the division
Arnold said: “They are very well organised and it is almost a professional set-up there. They gave us a good hiding there last time and maybe they will underestimate us.
“There were some encouraging points in the Blackheath game and I still have every confidence in this group,”
Fylde (probable): Dorrington; Brennand, Rawlings, Briers, Armstrong; Smith, Dever; Lewis, Burtonwood, Pope, Nott, Turley, Lamprey, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Simpson, Gregory, Goodman, Bedlow, Bingham