05:00PM, Thursday 20 January 2022
Head coach David Mobbs-Smith was already analysing what went right, and what went wrong for Maids in the moments after Saturday’s thrilling 29-27 win over Tring.
Alex French had just bullied his way over the line under the posts to set up victory from the final play, with Ed Keohane kicking the winning extras, but five minutes after that Mobbs-Smith was thinking about why Maids’ fluid play in the first half wasn’t matched in the second.
“We just weren’t able to keep the same composure in the second half,” he said. “We weren’t able to keep the ball for multi-phases. We kept turning it over in crucial areas, trying to be a little too expressive perhaps.
“It hurt us and allowed them back into the game. Two yellow cards for us obviously didn’t help, and we played 20 minutes of the second half with only 14 players, so to win the game in those circumstances is obviously very good.
“We just seemed to have a little too much pace for them today. They’re a good side, but we’ve been waiting to play like this for a long time. We’ve had it in fits and starts but to play that way for the whole first half, with that speed and intensity, is really what set the belief for the rest of the game.”
Having pressured the Tring back line on countless occasions in the first half, Maids weren’t able to impose themselves in the same way in the second, and with a few minutes to play they trailed 27-22. However, Mobbs-Smith always felt they’d get one more opportunity, and that’s how it panned out.
“We weren’t able to maintain possession in the same way,” he said. “We started to play a little more expressively, with slightly more risk, thinking we were on top when actually we just had to maintain what we were doing in the first half. The error count went up and we allowed them back into the game. I said to Myke (Parrott) we have one more shout at this. Once we got up there it was our forward carries that got us to the line. From a coaching point of view, it was a good score. There’s not a lot between us, even though Tring are a lot higher in the table. They’ve had a few narrow wins and we’ve had quite a few narrow losses, but if we can build on this next week that would be good.”
Maids travel to Tunbridge Wells, one of the sides just below them in the London & South East Premier Division table, on Saturday.
“That’s one of the games we won here on a wet afternoon, it was a tight game,” he said. “They played a close game with Tring as well so I’m expecting something as close and exciting as today’s game.”
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