Thu, 05 Sept 2019
NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer says his side are in a strong position ahead of their first game of the South West Premier season.
Archer’s side make the trip to Camborne in Cornwall on Saturday for their first game back in the Premier division – their longest journey of the season.
Blues beat Rams 2nd 19-7 in a friendly at Monks Lane on Saturday to end their pre-season preparations and the head coach was pleased with the display.
“It was a good way to end pre-season,” said Archer. “We selected 26 players and although they brought their second team, it was still a strong squad.
“It was a really good contest and from our time in South West Premier, we know the level of physicality that teams bring at that level.
“For us to get a feel for that, to match Rams and win the game was fantastic,” admitted Archer.
“It’s given us stuff to work on ahead of Saturday, but it was all pretty much positive and it’s given us a lot of confidence.”
Before the game, Archer wanted to outline the importance of the togetherness within the team, ahead of Saturday’s opener.
He said: “We spoke about how we were going to come together as a team and how we were going to support each other, not only outside the game, but inside it too.”
“I thought our ability to tactically change what we were doing depending on the threat that was presented to us by Rams was first class.
“I think it was the best I have seen since I have been at the Blues.
“We identified where they weren’t as strong and we identified where they were so we could try to neutralise that.”
With the visit to Camborne on Saturday, Archer believes his side are in a really strong position to make a flying start to the season.
He said: “I think we’re in a really good space now going into the season, but we’re not counting any chickens because each week is going to throw up a new challenge.
“I think we’re in as good a position as we could be and it’s great because I have seen new guys coming through the squad who have impressed me.
“They’re putting in decent markers to play Blues rugby and it’s fantastic – it’s a credit to the club to see the pathway that is set throughout.”
Although Blues will be making a 486-mile round trip, Archer is glad to have the fixture this early in the season.
“In some respects, it’s nice to get it ticked off first because it’s our only overnight trip,” he said.
“We’re not new to the travelling, we have done it before.
“It’ll be a real test for us, but we’re really looking forward to it because we’re in a decent space and we can’t wait to get started.”