Thu, 20 Dec 2018
HEAD coach Paul Archer has outlined plenty of positives after Newbury Blues maintained their 100-per-cent record heading into the festive period.
The Monks Lane club eased to a 41-5 victory away to Swindon on Saturday to record their 14th win from 14 games this season.
The win – plus another try bonus point – has taken them 16 points clear at the top of the South West 1 East table.
Blues got the victory in tough conditions and now have a three-week break.
Archer said: “It was very difficult to play in the conditions because of the rain and wind and it was physically difficult.
“We said before the game that didn’t want to use the conditions as an excuse and I knew that if we stuck to our game plan and kept our positive view, then we would have a good day.”
Newbury took the lead early on and Archer was pleased to see his game plan working once again.
He said: “We scored very early, which undoubtedly helped, and we weren’t scared to push the ball wide.
“We made a few more errors than we usually would, but I think that was to be expected on the day. It was really pleasing because we didn’t change our ambition.”
But, despite Blues being comfortably clear at the top of the league, Archer is still expecting the season to throw some challenges their way.
“I still think it’s a difficult year,” he said. “There will be teams who will be at the bottom trying their best to stay up and games will only get harder.
“It puts a little bit of a target on our backs having come down from Level Five and also being successful in all of our games pretty convincingly.
“Everyone is going to see this as an opportunity to knock us off the top, which is completely understandable.”
Newbury secured their 13th [out of a possible 14] try bonus points, something they lacked last season.
Archer said: “The end results last year were good, but we didn’t score enough tries and I knew we would have to make sure we got bonus points this year.
“We still remain pretty good in defence and it’s positive because we have maintained that while being able to push forward.”
The head coach was also thrilled about new players making the jump to the squad, outlining it as a huge boost for the future.
“It’s the icing on the cake that we have new faces in both the first and second team,” he said.
“Guys are proving that they can compete in the level that we’re at because they’re better equipped should we be fortunate enough to get promoted.”