10:08AM, Thursday 31 October 2019
Okehampton 14, Maidenhead 12
David Mobbs-Smith insists Maidenhead will need to ‘recover and refocus’ after Saturday’s narrow 14-12 defeat at Okehampton if the side are to continue to be a team worthy of challenging at the top of the table.
Maids looked destined for a third consecutive league victory, heading into the final few minutes with a five point advantage. But in a thrilling conclusion, a last-gasp try from Okes’ Ollie Francis and the following conversion from Dan Fogerty snatched the hosts a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Mobbs-Smith’s side were holding on to a narrow 12-7 lead approaching the final 10 minutes of the match, but could have had the safety net of a greater margin had they slotted away an early conversion from Scott Prince’s first half try.
The boss admitted that the missed two points proved costly come full time.
“I thought we played really well,” he said. “But we just didn’t get the points on the board when we needed to.”
“They (Okehampton) certainly dominated the first half with territory and possession after we scored our try.
“We missed our conversion and they scored minutes before half time to take the score to 7-5 at the break.
“We then dominated the second half and got over the try line twice but just didn’t get the ball down.
“If those two tries were scored, and conversions were made, we could have had a comfortable away win but that’s the difference between success and failure really.
“I was happy with my team’s endeavour and efforts but we can’t afford to have another couple of defeats.
“That will drop us right down into the middle of table.”
Maidenhead have the luxury of an extra week to regroup and prepare for a tough clash against leaders Weston-super-Mare, as league fixtures are on pause until after the Rugby World Cup Final.
Mobbs-Smith says he is aware of just how crucial the break will be as the side will look to get back into their best conditions mentally and physically.
“The break will give a chance for bodies to heal from the matches and players to recover from their tiredness.
“We started with an early pre-season so there is mental fatigue (to recover from) as well.
“All of these factors can drain you a little bit so it will be good to have some time off.
“Everybody is a working man and so if we can get a break from travelling, that will help us.
“Our next game after the break is actually at home, so in effect, it’s three weeks until we are on the road again.
He added: “We’ve got players to return from injury and, also, some players have performed well in the second team which will give me some selection issues.
“All of these factors make this season break a decent recovery period for everyone.”
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