Grace says slow starts need to be rectified by team

Plymouth Albion flanker Eoghan Grace says the National League One side need to get off to better starts to matches to make life easier for themselves.

They only led by 11 points at the interval against Fylde at Brickfields yesterday, but they went on the rampage after the break to run out eventual 68-15 winners.

It is a result that leaves them with 17 points after four matches and in third place in the table, three points adrift of Darlington Mowden Park, and two of pre-season title favourites Coventry.

“We knew that Fylde were going to come at us early doors with as much as they could give, and it was just up to us to ride the wave a bit and then get into it,” explained Irishman Grace. “We knew what they were capable of and we weren’t being complacent about it.

‘I think we started a bit slowly, which has been a bit of a trend for us that we need to quickly get rid of.”

He added: “Kieran (Hallett, head coach) said to us at half-time that the first half had been a half of two halves, with us being aggressive in ways in the first period but not backing it up over and over, while in the second period, we kind of got it together and a few tries came from good shape.

“He was positive as always at the break and just gave us a few work-ons and a few pointers and we went out to try and make it happen.

“I think our fitness shone through in the second half. We know teams are coming at us for 40 or 50 minutes plus, and hopefully we can get them with our tempo in the later stages of the game, and backing our structure is also important.”

Asked what Albion are capable of this season, Grace said: “That is the question that everyone wants to know the answer to.
“There is pressure on us to back up what was done last year, and a good platform has been put in place by the boys that were here, but we are going to take it step by step, and each game has different challenges.

“I feel we are still learning and we have got even more we can give, and we just want to try and get on a bit of a roll and see where it takes us.”

Albion visit Loughborough Students on Saturday, for a 3.00 pm kick-off, with the Midlands team sitting third from bottom of the table after their 36-20 defeat at Old Elthamians yesterday.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.