18/01/23 | 1st Team
The senior coaching team responded to a few questions each were asked by way of a review of the season to date. Here is what they said:
Director of Rugby: Adam Fletcher
1. Please give me an overview of how you think the season has gone so far?
The season is going exceptionally well. To be sat second in the league at this point is great testament to the hard work put In by everyone involved with the senior squad. Highlights so far have to be the Macclesfield and Blackburn games.
2. What do you believe are the main strengths of the team, and weaknesses you are working on?
We have pace on the edges and also through the middle so I believe it makes us extremely difficult to play against. The boys also work very hard for each other and enjoy playing for the club. We are still trying to improve in all areas. It’s just about finding little percentages each time.
3. The second team seem to have hit something of a rocky patch. What do you think is the way forward and your thoughts on the larger squad system?
Although the 2s have lost a few games recently they are still in a good position. It’s a brutally tough league. There have been a few occasions where unavailability and injuries have really hurt us. We have had a fair few retirements over the past couple of years and a lot of these have had a direct impact on the 2s.
We plan to start blooding the senior colts over the next few weeks. I’m hoping that their pace and enthusiasm will have a positive impact on the rest of the team.
4. If we do (and its a big IF) manage to overtake Blackburn and win promotion, how do you think the squad will manage in the league above? Is it something we need to keep aiming for whatever happens?
Blackburn are in control of this league. I’d be surprised if they drop many more points. We have to keep collecting 5 pointers and keep the pressure on. If we do that, we will be in the mix come the end of the season.
The league above is a tough big league. A large capable squad is key. We are looking to keep improving our squad depth and improving the current players on the training pitch.
Head Coach: Andy Davies
5. Please describe the style of play you have been aspiring to get to and how has this been achieved?
We want to play a brand of rugby that is exciting to be a part of and one that makes people want to come back and watch. Every player is expected to able to handle the ball and every player should be an option in phase play. In order for this to happen, skills is a big focus at training followed by the shape in which we want to fall into on a Saturday.
6. Losses on grass pitches away to Blackburn and Rossendale would indicate maybe a faultline in our ability to adapt when not on the AGP. Would you agree with that observation and if so, how do you intend to counter it?
Not at all. We lost to two very good teams away from home, which could have happened on an AGP. We’ve also had some impressive victories on grass pitches away from home this season.
7. From an attacking perspective what are our strengths and weaknesses moving forward?
Our strength is that every player is comfortable with ball in hand. This enables us to move the ball to where the space is. Our weakness is that we try to force a pass or offload when it isn’t on. We have tried to eradicate the mentality that we have to score every time we touch the ball.
8. How do you see the remainder of the season rolling out?
Our aim is to win every game we play in and to keep the pressure on Blackburn. They are a very good team but if they slip up we need to make sure we are there to capitalise.
Defence Coach: Tom Bray
9. You have moved into the Defence Coach role this season following your retirement. How has it gone, are you missing playing, and what do you feel have been the main improvements in defence?
I do miss playing it would be amazing to still be out there but still involved with the club has been great. It’s gone well since becoming Defence Coach, the boys have really bought in to what I’ve tried to implement and they work hard Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to make sure our defence is strong. Think the main improvement we’ve made is just having a collective focus on how we want to defend and everybody understanding their roles.
10. Where does the squad need to improve moving forward and can you reveal any thoughts for the seasons to come?
It’s not so much an improvement but lads need to keep a focus with their individual skills and fitness. It’s difficult for us to focus on each and every aspect of the game so there needs to be a bit of accountability for boys to maintain a high level of fitness or gym work as well as taking some time to do extras on any skills they need to improve.
11. What has given you the most satisfaction this season, despite now being on the touchline?
Difficult to pin point any specification moment but some of the performances we’ve put in have been incredible and seeing the team take everything we’ve been doing at training into a game has been brilliant.
12. Kevin Sinfield, the new England defence coach, has openly talked about lowering the level of tackle from a safety perspective. What are your thoughts on this and what impact will it have at the level Lymm play at currently, and for the game as a whole?