Coaches Talk – A Report from Steve Hazzelby

What a great day last Saturday at Park Lane. A massive derby game against old rivals Fylde who were flying high in the league with five wins and lying in fourth place and only two points behind us who were in first place. The conditions on the day were lovely, a dry, firm pitch, a big crowd and an electric atmosphere.

The game started as was expected at lighting pace with both teams looking to impose their authority. Fylde scored first with a penalty after 7 minutes but we hit back almost immediately with a great strike from fly half Steve (Piggy) Collins, to level the scores. Fylde to their credit kept possession well and looked to stretch us at every opportunity. However, the Tigers defence was immense and drove them back every time. Our set piece in the scrum and lineout was accurate and provided a great platform for our backs to exploit the Fylde defences at every opportunity.

After great pressure in their 22 a beautiful crosskick was gathered by hooker Matt Gallagher to score wide out on the right converted by Steve Collins to put us up 10-3 within the first 20 minutes. Another penalty from Steve further extended the lead and we were now playing controlled, high momentum rugby which Fylde had no answer to. Another great score for hooker Matt Gallagher ( his second) after a great catch and drive lineout from the forwards again converted by Piggy put us in a commanding 20-3 lead going onto the last ten minutes of the half.

Fly half Steve Collins was now running the show and a deft little chip kick from him gathered by fullback Andy Riley gave us our third converted try. Another penalty from Piggy 40 metres out saw us go into the break 30-3 up and it would be fair to say that this was almost a perfect half of rugby.

Expectations were high going into the second half and from the kick off centre Oli Glasse scored a lovely try after supporting a scorching run from winger Jamie Harrison. Piggy again converted and we were now 37-3 up and the bonus point secured.

Fylde are a team that never give up and to their credit they hit back with a great try from their full back Tom Carleton. We then went down to 14 men after prop John Blanchard was sin binned and in that ten minutes Fylde scored two more tries and the game finished 37-22 to the Tigers. A five point bonus point win after a great game of rugby from two very good teams. A wonderful effort from all the squad of players and special mention to Steve Collins who kicked seven out of seven kicks.

On Saturday we are on the road again at Hull Ionians who are currently sixth in the league with 4 wins, a draw and two losses. A difficult to place to go and get the result so we are taking nothing for granted and know that we will have to be at our best if we want to maintain this unbeaten run and top of the league.

Cheers, Hazz