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Archer thrilled with first win

Blues head coach also happy with healthy squad competition

Liam Headd

Liam Headd


01635 886629

Archer thrilled with first win

NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer was thrilled that his side collected their first win of the South West Premier season.

Blues recorded a 25-15 victory against early-season leaders Exmouth at Monks Lane on Saturday, helping them move up the table after they lost their opening three games.

Archer has been happy with his side’s performances, despite the results, but he felt things clicked into place on Saturday.

He said: “It was a good performance from us because, although we threatened in our first three games, we put it all together this week.

“We gave away some penalties, but we brought our defence back because it was excellent and it was much closer to what I am used to seeing.

“We were very tenacious, we wanted to get the ball back and put them under pressure so we could force them to make errors.

“We scored three really good tries, but we also had opportunities to get a fourth or fifth which we didn’t manage to take.”

Archer was also cautious of some errors his side made, leaving them with plenty still to work on.

He said: “We still feel we left a point out there with the bonus point, but in terms of the process and the way we played, it was pretty much all positive.

“We still have to look at our discipline when it comes to giving away penalties because Exmouth’s kicker was excellent.

“I thought we were a little bit naïve with the penalties we gave away, but it was a really strong performance from us because everyone contributed to the win.

“It was nice to get the first win on the board, so now we have that confidence to move forward.”

With the Rugby World Cup gripping the nation, Japan’s shock 19-12 win against Ireland inspired Blues to victory at Monks Lane.

“We were really inspired with the Japanese result,” said Archer. “I saw quite a lot of the Blues DNA in the way Japan played.

“They were solid in defence and they really wanted to counter-punch in attack, so we used that as a little bit of motivation.

“I think it was relevant to us because I can see similarities in the way we play and the way they play too.”

Some of Blues’ regulars returned to the squad for Saturday’s game and with more due back in the next few weeks, Archer believes they’re in a good position.

He said: “We’re still in the process of getting back to a full squad, but at the moment we’re in a good space because we have decent depth.

“It’s great to see the flow through the club because the second team had a great win at the weekend and their home form is fantastic.

“The performances from the second team has put that healthy competition into the Blues squad, which is great to have.

“They can see guys who are playing well and will want their Blues chance at some point.” 

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