Cockles head coach on the win over Maidenhead and the task ahead at Newbury Blues

PUBLISHED: 18:40 24 September 2019

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife

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In our weekly chat with Cockles head coach Steve Perry we started by asking him for his reaction to the 32-20 win over Maidenhead.

Steve said: "It was certainly a good performance and what was most pleasing was the reaction post match and the pleasure that the players had clearly got from their afternoon's work. For me, as a coach, I am constantly seeking for the team to show improvement, but above all else I want the players to enjoy what they are doing and, of course, winning certainly helps with that!"

He continued: "We played into the conditions in the first half which did play a part in the way the game unfolded. At half-time there was a frank and honest discussion about what we could do better and we played very well throughout the second half to deservedly win the game against a very good team."

Ever the 'let's keep our feet firmly on the ground' sort of person, the Cockles head coach then turned his thoughts to an area of the performance that had not been so pleasing. He said: "Our set-piece play was exceptional and the forwards performed well but, as I have been saying on a regular basis this early season, our defensive effort remains very much 'work in progress' and needs improving.

Against Maidenhead we once again did not fire as a back line. Now you can put some of the blame for that at the door of us losing a member of that particular unit in the wrap up and then another just 10 minutes into the game, but our general defensive play has to improve if we are going to maintain hopes of sustaining a lofty status in what is already looking to be a mighty competitive South West Premier Division."

On Saturday it's Newbury Blues away and what does the Cockles head coach think of this next challenge.

He replies saying: "It's another long coach trip and that is always going to be a factor at this level. We must also be aware that they [Newbury] are newly promoted to this level and so they will be keen and eager to make their mark. I suppose I'd liken them to Okehampton and that suggests that, after a four hour coach trip -dependent of course on motorway conditions - we need to get out on their pitch and look to make sure the game unfolds the way we want it to."

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