05:00PM, Thursday 24 October 2019
Maidenhead captain Myke Parrott said he is pleased with his team’s improvement in defence as they held on to clinch a 27-24 victory against Newbury Blues on Saturday.
A late try from Elio Mandozzi with the extras added from Ed Keohane salvaged Maidenhead their second win in a row and leaves the side in third place of the South West Premier.
While scoring tries and putting teams under pressure hasn’t been a cause for concern, individual errors and defensive mistakes have been, with David Mobbs-Smith’s team struggling to win a game in convincing fashion since their opening day victory at Drybrook, winning 27-17.
According to skipper Parrott, a defensive focus in training is helping Maidenhead to improve at the back as they look to see out victories more comfortably.
“We kind of relax when we take the lead,” he said. “We can always score tries but we become a little bit cavalier afterwards.”
“We’re looking to change that mindset and in the last few weeks we’ve really started to drill down on our defence. We feel that we’re definitely improving week by week in training. I think our defence on Saturday was absolutely superb. It was a tight result but I am very pleased with how we played.”
Maidenhead will make the journey west this Saturday to face Okehampton, who have endured a mixed bag at the start of this year’s campaign with three wins and four losses. But an unbeaten home streak has put the side in a respectable position of ninth and Parrott says Maidenhead will have to be at their best to break down the hosts’ formidable form at Oaklands Park.
“Their (Okehampton) home record is superb and they’ve won every game there so far.
“It’s going to be a really tough game and we know we’re in for a battle.
“They’re a really loud and proud home side and they’re going to have a big boisterous crowd behind them.
“It reminds me a little bit of when we first came into this division. We would rely on our home form and a noisy crowd to get us through the match.
“We’ll be going down there with a strong squad and we haven’t got any serious injuries that we picked up from the game against Newbury.
“We know our defence worked well and hopefully it can carry on so we can get a good win on Saturday.”
Kick off is at 3pm.
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