Thu, 31 Jan 2019
PAUL Archer has praised the never-say-die attitude of his Newbury Blues players after they came from behind to beat Beaconsfield 36-16 away in South West 1 East.
Leaders Blues found themselves 16-10 behind at half-time, but a flurry of tries in the second half saw the visitors pick up an 18th win of the season to maintain their 100-per-cent record.
But they were given a scare as the home side got off to a flying start and head coach Archer admitted: “It ended up being a good win for us.
“Beaconsfield were very good for the first 30 minutes as they attacked as well as any team I have seen at this level.
“We were unable to get the ball for the majority of the first-half and they were very good at
Alex Millar scored twice for Blues before half-time and Archer believes that was the turning point as it proved the character of his side.
He said: “I think our fitness and intensity showed towards the back end of the first half as we scored two tries to ensure we were only 16-10 down, and that was important.
“Then we scored 26 unanswered points and that was a testament to us and our never-say-die attitude as we showed we can ride out periods when things aren’t going our way.”
Once Blues took the lead for the first time, they didn’t stop creating opportunities, which was another positive for Archer.
“We didn’t let up,” he said. “We put our foot to the floor and we were ruthless in terms of taking our chances.
“We have set a decent marker and it was a good test for us because we reacted well to when we were behind.”
But despite sitting comfortably at the top of the league table, the Newbury head coach has already pinpointed improvements going forward.
“We’ll need to tighten up our defence,” admitted Archer. “I thought we tackled too high, which has been a little bit of a problem for us over the back end of 2018 and into 2019.
“If we can solve that, we’ll be able to have excellent performances rather than having to fight our way back into games.”
Although Newbury found themselves trailing at the interval, Archer didn’t have any concerns because he knew his players had the ability to turn it around.
He said: “I don’t tend to worry if we go behind within reason as it’s only happened a couple of times and I feel we have a huge amount of belief in the squad.
“What I really like is that on the day, the team can solve the problem in the moment and they’re not relying on external factors like me talking to them.
“Once we got the two tries at the end of the first half, we had the ability to go on and change the result of the game.”
Blues now have a rest week before they face Chippenham at Monks Lane on February 9 (3pm).