Thu, 26 Sept 2019
NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer said his side can’t afford any lapses in concentration after they suffered their third defeat in South West Premier.
Blues were beaten by 45-29 against Exeter University to leave them still seeking their first win of the season.
But Archer believes it’s only a matter of time before they do.
“The margins are so fine,” he said. “If you switch off for a couple minutes, or you get an unlucky bounce of the ball or a referee decision goes against you, it can mean a 14-point swing, which is what undid us against Exeter.
“Within one minute of the second half, they had scored two tries and it’s game over from there because we’re chasing the game and we became more open.
“It’s still a learning curve and I don’t think we’re too far away from where we need to be,” he said. “The good thing this season is that we have taken a bonus point away from every game.”
In previous games, Archer outlined some areas for his side to work on and he felt the improvements were there to see.
“I don’t think we were as tight as we could have been, but we take some real positives out of the game by owning our process and fixing some of the stuff we have tripped up on in the last couple of weeks.
“We focussed on what was leading to us giving away penalties, and we did really well in that regards, so it gave us a better platform to work on.”
Archer was also quick to praise how well their opponents played on Saturday.
He said: “It was disappointing to lose, especially with us shipping 45 points, but at times we had to admire how Exeter attacked.
“They’re a young side with amazing talent. Some of their play going forward was absolutely fantastic and some of their points were incredible.”
With games coming thick and fast in the coming weeks – starting with leaders Exmouth at Monks Lane on Saturday (3pm) – Archer will welcome players back into the squad.
He said: “We have some big players coming back into the squad, which will be really helpful, as not only do they offer skills, they offer leadership as well.
“Josh Bartlett, Alex Millar and Dylan Stewart all came back into the squad last week and we also had two new caps in Freddie Graham-Campbell and Tom Cole.
“Hopefully over the next few weeks we can start to find our feet because I don’t think we have put together a complete performance, but equally we have not had a terrible performance.”