03:30PM, Thursday 05 December 2019
Myke Parrott says he’s relishing Maidenhead RFC’s crunch away clash at Brixham on Saturday and insists they’ve have learnt how to win matches in a variety of ways.
In recent seasons Maidenhead have often struggled for form away from home, losing their footing when the weather worsens and conditions get boggy underfoot.
But Parrott says the side can now mix it up at close quarters in a forward dominated battle, or play open, expansive, rugby when the game and match conditions allow.
What’s more he’s also hoping for a little rain to moisten up the grassy surface ahead of Saturday’s game, and believes the side’s scrum can become a powerful weapon in their promotion charge over the coming months.
Prop forward Mark Darlington is set to return to the side on Saturday and Parrott says Maids have scrummaging power that is the envy of all in the South West Premier, as well as many sides at the level above.
Two weeks ago Maids showed off both sides of their game to beat Bracknell RFC 24-14 at Braywick Park. Their offensive flair was on show as Scott Prince (two) and Dave Cole scored to make it 17-14 at the break, but, after conceding two catch and drive tries before the interval, they also needed to show their defensive resolve as Bracknell hit back in the second half. Another Cole try late on earned them victory and the derby bragging rights.
“It’s exciting times,” said Parrott.
“We’re in a very good place at the moment. We’ve got a good balance and with Mark Darlington coming back this weekend we’ll have a very powerful scrummage. It’s a scrummage that can compete with any side in this league, and probably the league above to be honest. It’s a very powerful weapon for us.
“Against Bracknell we had to bring our A game. Our defence was so strong, I think we only missed four tackles in the whole of the game and didn’t really let them into our 22. They scored from two catch and drives but we managed to sort that out at the break and in the second half our defence was outstanding.”
Victory over ninth placed Brixham on Saturday would move the side up to second in the table, above Weston-super-Mare who don’t play this weekend.
Brixham defeated Ivybridge 40-29 in their last home match before grinding out a draw with Launceston on November 23. They’ll provide a stern test of Maidenhead’s promotion ambitions, but Parrott believes his side will find a way to win, however the match plays out. Maids have lost their last two away games against Okehampton and leaders Barnstaple and last tasted victory on the road back on October 5, when they edged out Launceston 43-42.
“They’re in form. We’ve been a bit unlucky this season playing sides when they’re on a good run,” said Parrott.
“They had a torrid start to the season and sacked their coach.
“They’ve gone back to their old coach now and are unbeaten in their last four.
“They’ve also brought in a few players from Ivybridge and from Plymouth Albion, so it’ll be a difficult long trip for us. They’ve got a lot of pace, particularly from 13 outwards, and have some very strong ball carriers. But we’ll hopefully have the edge over them at the set-piece and will look to starve them of the ball.
“A little bit of rain wouldn’t be the worst thing, but we’ve got good pace in our side as well and plenty of energy. Scott Prince has been on fire for us in recent games and we’ve got George Blewitt on the other wing.
“We’ve got some real crackerjacks who can hurt sides, and we can also beat teams in a variety of ways.”
He added “We’re in a good place,” added Parrott. “We’re definitely improving as the season goes on and we have players coming back from injury so we’re feeling confident.
“It’s so tight that we could go top if we win both games. It’s an exciting, bonkers, league and we’ve just got to make sure we stay in the hunt.”
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