05:05PM, Tuesday 08 January 2019
Maidenhead’s Andy Berry
Maidenhead RFC showed that they no longer have a ‘mental block’ when it comes to away games as they steadily improved throughout their game at Cleve for a 30-20 win on Saturday.
Head coach Russell Bolton felt his players adapted well to their opponents and the conditions, working out how to beat them as the game went on.
Andy Berry pushed his way over for their first score before Dave Cole went over the whitewash to give Maids the lead early in the second half.
A couple of penalties from Will Runciman, and a couple of tries from Dylan Baptiste then gave the ruthless visitors an unassailable advantage.
“We’ve got a bit more experience in these away games now,” said Bolton.
“It’s never easy to go away from home, but we certainly don’t have that mental block which I feel we used to have. I think we got stronger as the game went on. It was relatively even and there wasn’t a lot to choose between the sides.
“At half-time we spoke to the boys about controlling the ball better, as we’d been a bit loose in open play.
“We’d definitely been the more threatening side but we needed the players to make the most of those opportunities.
“We backed ourselves to do that in the second half and ended up scoring four tries for a bonus point.
“We had to be patient. We didn’t know that much about the club before kick-off, because you never know what side will be played.
“You have to work out what their strengths and weaknesses are and then exploit that.”
Bolton added: “We played very well but it was also a strong defensive performance. We nullified them. They didn’t get a lot of change from us. I don’t think we ever played outlandish rugby, it wasn’t really the day for that because of the conditions but it was a very controlled, mature display.”
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