Fylde RFC rested and  ready for the final push

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Fylde RFC are rested and ready for the final push this season, starting with Saturday's trip to Hull Ionians (3pm).
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Fylde RFC begin building for the longer term

Last weekend brought Fylde's final Saturday off before their final block of six National Two North fixtures.

Fylde have slipped to fourth and may have lost too much ground to challenge for top spot themselves, though leaders Hull's visit to the Woodlands next month could have a major bearing on the the destiny of the title.

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Captain Ben Gregory, here scoring against Sheffield Tigers last time out, aims to lead Fylde into a strong finish to 2021/22Captain Ben Gregory, here scoring against Sheffield Tigers last time out, aims to lead Fylde into a strong finish to 2021/22
Captain Ben Gregory, here scoring against Sheffield Tigers last time out, aims to lead Fylde into a strong finish to 2021/22

Joint-head coach Chris Briers told The Express: “After a couple of years with hardly any rugby it seems to have gone very quickly … we must have been enjoying it too much.

“It's probably more a case of one game at a time and keeping on looking forward rather than setting specific targets. “But we have some big tests in these final six games and this is no time to be thinking about the summer. We need to remain focused.”

Fylde were able to enjoy their break, having achieved their goal of tightening up their defence in their last outing, the 62-17 win over Sheffield Tigers.

They had won their previous two games as well but conceded 64 points in them.

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“We were definitely a lot happier with the defence,” added Briers. “We had worked on a few things that may go unnoticed by people watching but we were pleased with how we had tightened up.

“I don't think we had any knocks from the game – it's more about tired bodies at this stage of the season.”

That's why Briers and fellow team boss Alex Loney went easier on the players last week.

“We only had the one training session and a number of players were away, but Alex and I didn't mind that because we know as former players that at this stage of the season you are grateful for a break,” said Briers.

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“It was good to give the bodies a rest last week but we have to turn up with the right mindset this weekend and show that the break has not affected us.”

Fylde and Hull Ionians may be separated by only two places in the table but they are 20 points apart, showing the gulf between the breakaway group and the rest.

However, Ionians made Fylde work hard for their 28-12 victory at the Woodlands in November. “Every time we go to Hull Ionians it always seems to be tough, wherever the teams are in the league,” said Briers.

However, more eyes will be focused elsewhere in the city on Saturday, when the league's top two, Hull and Sedgley Park, clash in what is a massive match in the title race.

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Sedgley's 80-5 hammering of Huddersfield last weekend cut Hull's lead to six points, and Briers offered this view on the big match and the duel for top spot.

“I think it could go either way. Hull play a brand of rugby that's pretty tight but they have shown it can be effective and a couple of months ago I'd probably have favoured them.

“But Sedgley were very good when we played against them last month. That was probably the best and most challenging team we've faced all season, so I'd maybe edge towards them now but you never know.

“But if Hull lost to Sedgley and then against us, we could be only two points behind them, so in some ways I'd like to think Sedgley can win on Saturday!”

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