Match report: Fylde RFC 47 Peterborough Lions 7
Fylde bounced back from last week's heavy defeat at Tynedale by inflicting a similar outcome on newly-promoted Peterborough Lions to win 47-7.
They played some attractive, free-flowing rugby and ran in seven tries to halt their two-game losing sequence and get back to winning ways.
This was newly-promoted Peterborough’s first trip to the Woodlands and they were made welcome after their long 200 mile road trip – everywhere but on the pitch that is.
The visitors have taken some time to adjust to the step up in level but had ruined Chester’s 100 per cent record in their last match and would have fancied their chances given Fylde’s most recent result.
Fylde knew a fast start and a more resolute defence would be required to stifle the opposition’s ambitions.
They started with a strong wind at their backs and protecting possession was likely to be the challenge after heavy downpours all day.
With Dave Fairbrother out injured Fylde were fortunate to have Sam Dugdale available and he started early on in his role as one of the main ball carriers with a fine break and offload to the skipper for the day, Chris Briers.
Fylde were soon back on the attack after Tom Grimes made inroads and a Peterborough knock-on gave Fylde a scrum on the opposition 22.
A set move in the backs was executed to perfection, creating room for Tom Carleton to join the line at pace and slice through close to the posts to get the scoreboard going.
Greg Smith converted, and with six minutes gone, Fylde were 7-0 to the good.
Peterborough then had their best spell of the game.
With Argentinian scrum-half Franco Perticaro marshalling his industrious forwards and hard-running centres, they built a sustained period of possession.
A penalty in the 15th minute gave them their first chance of points but stand-off Ben Young pulled his penalty kick wide in the windy conditions.
Fylde hammered the resulting 22 drop out long and then forced a knock-on, giving them a scrum 20 metres out.
A strong run by Connor Wilkinson and quickly recycled ball got Dugdale on the front foot and his strength carried him over the line in the tackle.
Smith converted and it was 14-0 after 18 minutes.
Fylde continued to press but knock-ons and an occasionally misfiring lineout allowed Peterborough to clear their lines.
With the strong wind at their backs Fylde knew they needed a healthy advantage before the break.
Up stepped Dugdale again with a powerful surge creating quick ball as Briers put Carleton in space and he left two defenders floundering before swallow diving in for his second try.
This was again converted by Smith and the lead was now looking very healthy at 21-0.
Grimes then failed to gather Wilkinson’s chip through with the line at his mercy but he was given another chance on 39 minutes.
This time, he made no mistake from Cameron Crampton’s chip and touched down with Smith again converting to make it 28-0 at the break.
The second half gave Peterborough their chance to use the elements, meaning Fylde often had to start from deep.
The defence was solid and the approach to working upfield was composed and consistent.
It paid off in the 51st minute when Olli Parkinson pierced the gain line, and with the defence on the back foot, Henry Hadfield forced his way over with Smith again converting.
A last-ditch tackle forced Carleton into a knock-on just as he was gathering the ball for a hat-trick before coach Warren Spragg began to make use of the Fylde bench.
Ewan Ashman made his home debut at hooker for Ben Gregory and Adam Lanigan replaced Crampton at scrum-half on his comeback from injury.
The next score came on 62 minutes as a neat move saw a dummy scissors bamboozle the defence before a second scissors to Grimes saw him burst through on halfway and outstrip all chasers to score in the corner.
The strong wind meant Smith had little chance from wide out and he missed his only kick of the day.
With Fylde leading 40-0, more changes were made with Luke Fowden and Nick Ashcroft on for Carleton and Parkinson.
It was no surprise, with the game won, that it entered a bit of a mad final 10 minutes.
On 70 minutes, the Fylde defence misjudged a speculative kick with Nico Defeo strolling over and Young converting.
However, Fylde still had time to bag the last score with Grimes making another incisive break and offloading to Fowden for a try, Smith nailing the difficult conversion to make the final score 47-7.
Fylde: Carleton, Hadfield, Briers, Wilkinson, Grimes, Smith, Crampton, Dugdale, O’Ryan, Corrie, Parkinson, Garrod, Ford, Gregory, Horner. Replacements: Joyner, Ashman, Ashcroft, Lanigan, Fowden.
Peterborough Lions: Starling, Meyers, Ma’asi, Defeo, Carr, Young, Perticaro, Carter, Gracey, Lea, Nankivell, T Lewis, Ioannou, J. Lewis, Waller. Replacements: Moore, Askham, Cutts, Andrijauskas, Edbrooke.