08:00AM, Friday 15 November 2019
Maidenhead RFC delivered a statement of intent in their 22-0 victory over South West Premier leaders Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, but also set a benchmark for the rest of their displays this season.
Maids were up for this one, crunching into tackles from the opening whistle that left Weston battered and bewildered.
Defensively they’ve been much improved in recent weeks, but fell well short offensively in their surprise 14-12 defeat at Okehampton a few weeks ago.
This was much more like it from David Mobbs-Smith’s side and, as forward Andy Berry reflected afterwards, the closest they’ve come to a ‘100 per cent performance’ this season.
Weston – who arrived at Braywick Park protecting a slender lead in the South West Premier – barely threatened the Maidenhead try line, while Dave Cole crashed through their defences on three occasions to touch down all of the home side’s tries.
Reflecting on the win, Berry said: “To be honest with you I think we were due that (kind of performance).
“We defended very well at Drybrook in the first game of the season but we hadn’t really given a 100 per cent performance yet.
“That’s probably up there. There are still things to work on. We could have had a bonus point try. But I’m proud of the lads actually. We had big players away today but the boys stepped up well and it was Andy Darlo’s first game back and he was incredible.
“We have been working pretty hard on our top tackling in recent weeks in training. It paid dividends. When you come up against these big South West backs the only way to play them is to put them on their backs quickly. That keeps them out of the game and then hopefully they kick the ball back to you which today they did.
“I said to Coley you’re going to have to score three to get man of the match to I spurred him on I reckon. I’ll take credit for the third one. But he was superb and when he’s got the fire in his belly he’s probably the best number eight in this league.
“It’s a massive three weeks for us. We’ve got Barnstaple away and then Bracknell at home after that.
“We set our standards high this year and we haven’t really had a very quick start so it was important for us to put in a performance today.”
Fourth placed Maidenhead trail Barnstaple by six points ahead of their visit to the leaders this Saturday.
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