COACHES love it when a plan comes together, and forwards guru Boris Stankovich was certainly happy after Saturday’s game against Ampthill & District – attributing the win to the preparation done in the lead-up.
“We worked really hard in the week, and the boys struck to our strategy and it paid off for us,” said Stankovich..
“A lot of our plan was built around the set piece and defending their much-vaunted rolling maul. We did that reasonably well, apart from one that they scored off, and I think throughout the game the boys defended very well.
“The forwards finished on top, and that’s credit to all the boys working hard in the week and then not going off script.
“Our first-half performance has certainly got to be up there with the best this season from the forwards’ point of view, and the backs had a really good game. Sam Grasso was getting good ball and it was used well – a lot of that’s to do with Nick Walshe and Brendan Burke, and the work they are doing.
“I think across the board we managed and controlled Ampthill well. We did everything we had set out to do during the week which was really pleasing.
“Our fitness is good, and I think a telling fact is that we’ve picked a pretty settled team over the last few weeks whereas we were changing the team around every week earlier in the season. That’s a lesson for us”.
The game was fiercely contested in the forwards, but Stankovich had no qualms about introducing 20-year-old Development Squad loose head Jake Byrne on the half hour for only his third replacement appearance.
“We had planned for Jake to go on early so that he could get a bit of game time before half-time.
“We thought it would be a good time to put him on then to give the other two props a bit of a rest going forward, and he did really well out there which was pleasing.
“He’s getting there, he just needs a little more game time – he hasn’t had a lot of adult football, and I think you have to take that in mind. He’s certainly a work in progress and one for the future.”