Shelford given task of turning home ground into a fortress

PUBLISHED: 15:02 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:52 28 September 2016

Aki Lea touches down the final try for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.

Aki Lea touches down the final try for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.

ILIFFE

Guernsey unbeaten run ended

Tom Lucas touches down for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.Tom Lucas touches down for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.

Gareth Evans has set Shelford the challenge of turning the Davey Field into a fortress.

They produced a dominant performance last Saturday to end Guernsey’s unbeaten start to the season, with a 22-17 win thanks to tries from Tom Lucas, Ben Matalau and Aki Lea and seven points from the boot of Simon Hrbek.

“We’re really pleased. This is a tough league and games are going to be a little bit like that and to grind one out at home is really pleasing and we also did that against Colchester,” said head coach Evans.

“We want to turn the Davey Field into a bit of a fortress and that’s what we’re doing.

Ben Matalau touches down for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.Ben Matalau touches down for Shelford against Guernsey Raiders. Picture: Cat Goryn.

“The first 10 to 15 minutes in the second half were key, we had a couple of chances and scored two good tries so from there we were on the front foot.

“From there you are on the front foot and we’re in control of the scoreboard.

“The breakdown is key. We try to focus a little bit on our set piece but there are 150 breakdowns in a game so it’s important we get that right both offensively and defensively.

“The key thing is to try to get everything right at the same time but we know we’ve got lots to work on and it was a really good show of character to go ahead and win a game that was 50-50 for long periods.

“They’ll be close to the top of the table so to be fair I thought we were the better team throughout the game and other than a few errors in the first half we could have got that bonus point try and won the game comfortably.”

After two wins at home and two defeats on the road, the challenge for Shelford is to recreate the same form on their travels.

“We’ve won two at home and lost two away for we’ve got to look at why that is, and that’s something we can put right on a Tuesday and Thursday night,” said Evans.

“It’s not necessarily a technical or a tactical issue, it maybe is a mental issue for us so we’ve got to look at how we approach the away games and see how we can be better away.”

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