12:45PM, Friday 14 September 2018
Maidenhead showed glimpses of their capabilities during the 23-20 defeat at Camborne, but also their scrambled thought processes when playing away from home.
This was the view of head coach Russell Bolton who, for the second year in succession, presided over a three-point defeat on the sloping pitch at Crane Park.
Last season, the bonus point was part of an expected learning curve after promotion, but this time it was bitter sweet.
“We went down there full of confidence, although with changes to the team from last week, which was a disappointment,” said Bolton.
“This is to be expected when we have to go down on a Friday night.
“We believe we had a robust game plan, having played there last season, one which the players said they bought into.
“However, on the day, they didn’t stick to it.
“With the slope in the first half, we didn’t accumulate as many points as we would have liked.
“We had a good talk at half-time about what we needed to do in the second half. The players agreed, but then didn’t actually do it.”
He added: “We are a team which likes to throw the ball around but actually, for these tough games down in Cornwall and Devon, we would be better being a bit more rigid.
“We learned this last year, but Saturday we remained quite naive.
“We have a lot of options but, these away matches, we would almost be better off with fewer options.
“But there were glimpses of what we are trying to do and some good individuals performances.”
Bolton singled out debutant Kieran Grey in the No.9 jersey.
He said: “Scrum half Kieran Grey, who was playing for the colts last year, had a great game.
“His kicking and awareness was fantastic.
“Andy Berry, who filled in at No.8, continued to show what a powerful player we have recruited. He’s also clearly becoming a leader within the group.
“George Blewitt continued where he left off against Brixham, having another solid game.”
He added: “I know how disappointed the players were with Saturday, so hopefully this will help with motivation for the match against Cleve.”
Maids, who will have more players from which to select for Saturday’s clash, were narrow 41-39 winners over Cleve at Braywick last season.
The visitors have lost both their opening matches in the South West Premier, 38-22 at Exmouth and 29-22 at home to Ivybridge.
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