So how did Andy feel having just seen his new look team go down by 41-28 against a powerful and well drilled Warminster unit?
“Well, we scored three tries, three good tries and I thought that our attacking play was excellent throughout. When Tom McAllister, Chris Rule and Jack Howse attacked through the centre we posed them all sorts of problems and the lineout was generally pretty good as well. We got lots of good quality ball to feed out to the backs and made steady progress throughout the game from our lineouts. I thought that the scrum held up well considering we were playing against a much bigger and heavier pack. I know we lost ground later in the matches when we had to make considerable changes but my thanks go out to Phil Ward and Ken Wright for coming on and putting their all in to help the cause.
“But I think the most satisfying thing was that when we had the ball we looked really good. We went through our structures, those patterns that we have been working on on the training ground and everyone knew their roles and positions and we were impressive.
“Of course, there are some lessons that we must learn from this defeat. Fitness levels are not as I would like them to be. Losing three influential players like Mark Glew, Tom McAllister and Jack Howse was always going to make life difficult for us and although the replacements, Matt Cross, Phil Ward and Ken Wright came and did great jobs late on, we were found out by two late tries. We need to be able to play with the same intensity in the 80th minute as we had in the 1st.
“Considering that the day before the game we didn’t have a team of players, I think we did a tremendous job, so huge thanks to everyone who made themselves available to play.
“I don’t usually like to pick out individuals, it is a team game and a team performance after all, but I thought that Matt Stone had a great game and young James Nickson looked completely at home – it’s just a shame that we wont see him again until his university term ends – and Kieran Tillotsen was always on hand to pick up any loose ball and move it forward. Even though Tom McAllister had a fine match, capped by his two tries, I’ll have to give the Man of the Match award to Chris Rule in the centre. He put in some fine runs with the ball and his tackling and coverage work in defence was excellent.”
And what of the immediate future?
“Well, we have a week to work on some of the lessons that we learned from a good Warminster team this weekend. We have to make some changes because we will have both teams in league action and we’ll also have to keep a close check on the state of our pitches. It’s almost inevitable that at least one game will have to be switched simply because the three Minety pitches have suffered so much during that prolonged spell of dry weather over the summer.”