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Maidenhead RFC get timely wake-up call from Witney ahead of Newbury clash

Graeme Copas

Reporter:

Graeme Copas

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Head coach Russell Bolton says the clash with Witney was a wake-up call for Maidenhead ahead of Saturday’s crucial game with Newbury.

The 46-27 win came about thanks to seven tries from the hosts, but not before they had squandered a 19-0 lead and then had to regain the momentum with an improved second-half showing.

Ultimately Bolton was pleased with the result and that his side had been tested and not found wanting after 80 minutes.

“It was a good game to play as Witney are always a challenge and have some really good areas to their game,” he said. “It was a good wake up game for us.

“It was similar to other games this year when we have scored quickly and early, but we weren’t scoring through good pattern play, but because of a lack of defence from Witney and some good individual play from us.

“I knew they (Witney) would get a kick up the arse and come back at us, and I warned the guys, but we weren’t ready for it.”

He added: “After that first try of theirs they took the momentum and we didn’t do the right things to take it back in the first half.

“We kept making mistakes and let them play.”

Bolton was impressed with some of the individual efforts on show, especially from flanker Ross Muil.

He said: “I thought Ross coming back in made a huge difference.

“He was determined in his ball carrying and they struggled to bring him down. He was good at the breakdown and showed lots of energy.

Now the focus has shifted to the visit of third-placed Newbury on Saturday.

Bolton said: “Newbury will be confident, but we’re always confident of winning at home. It’ll be a big week of training for us.”

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