05:02PM, Thursday 12 April 2018
Russell Bolton is still feeling the pain of Maidenhead’s tame performance in the 34-12 defeat to Bracknell, a low point in what has otherwise been a positive South West Premier campaign.
Bolton had hoped to see his side maintain their challenge for second place, do the double over their Berkshire rivals and provide a fitting tribute to director of rugby Tony Brooks who died last month.
Instead his team produced probably their worst home performance of the season, and that has hurt the Maids head coach.
“I’m still feeling bad about it all,” he said a few days after the game.
“I need more than a couple of days to get back on an even keel after such a disappointing day.
“We were thoroughly outplayed by Bracknell and, having looked at the video again, they could have run away with it as they had several more chances to score.
“It’s gutting and depressing, and we are unlikely to finish higher than third or fourth.”
Bolton was also quick to say he must take his fair share of the blame.
He said: “I made a few errors. You have to look at yourself first after a performance like that.
“When Dave Cole dropped out on the morning of the match, we took the decision to go with the extra back on the subs bench.
“But looking back we needed two forwards to be able to rotate players. At that late stage of the day, I’m not sure who we would have brought in, but it should have been a forward. But we had injury concerns in the backs and we thought that’s where our problems would come from.
“We hoped to get away with it.”
Bolton now has the job of lifting his squad for the tricky trip to Weston- Super-Mare on Saturday with the hosts still needing a few points to be mathematically certain of avoiding relegation.
“We want to finish the season well but we might be cautious in selection,” he said.
“Some players are carrying injuries and we don’t want to risk them.”
Maids beat Weston 70-26 in December.
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