06:30PM, Wednesday 08 January 2020
David Mobbs-Smith was forced to go back to the drawing board as he masterminded an incredible come-from-behind 44-27 victory over Maidenhead RFC over Exmouth RFC on Saturday.
Maids weren’t able, or weren’t allowed to execute their game plan as the Cockles swept into a commanding 20-7 half-time lead at Braywick Park, forcing Mobbs-Smith and skipper Myke Parrott into a hasty change of tactics for the second half.
Fortunately it had the desired effect and Maidenhead were quick to click in the second period, running in three swift tries to turn the match on its head.
That period – when Niall Crossley, Scott Prince and Ben Mitchell all touched down – changed the complexion of the match completely and enabled the hosts to pick up a bonus point win that keeps them on the coat-tails of leaders Barnstaple at the top of the South West Premier division.
Speaking after the final whistle, Mobbs-Smith admitted he was relieved to have found a solution to Maids’ first-half problems.
He said: “We had a tactical plan, the problem was that we couldn’t execute it in the first half and they were able to do what they were very good at. We managed to have a chat about it at half time and how we can change that dynamic in the game. It worked a little better than I would have hoped and in six minutes, we were right back in it. We actually know how good they are in your half. They’re a very physical side with a great set piece, particularly the line out.
“They dominate you with both territory and possession so of course there were long periods in the first half where we just didn’t have the ball. So we had to find a solution to that and in the second half we showed we played to the right areas and kept the ball in the right areas, and so we were able to start hurting them.
“They were still a threat right to the end when they were trying to get that final bonus point.
Mobbs-Smith added: “Ivybridge is our next hurdle, they’re a really good side, very effective sometimes at home.
“They play on a surface similar to ours. It’ll be a really tough away fixture for us next week.”
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