12 Dec Coach’s analysis of Loughborough game
For PRIDE Head Coach the away game in Loughborough was one of the hardest games from the team’s unbeaten start to the 216 season to date.
Loughborough led at half time, despite Calvin Stitt’s 35-yard rushing touchdown.
However, the PRIDE played with better execution and more determination in the second half to secure victory.
A rushing touchdown and a two-point conversion by Elijah Okonkwo put the PRIDE into a lead they would never relinquish.
Speaking about the game, Coach Ben spoke of the tough test his side faced away at the university.
“The Loughborough game was really, really difficult. I had seen Loughborough’s offence before and again it is pretty much ‘what you see is what you get.’ They put all the big bodies on and they challenge you to go toe-to-toe with them”.
“Size and power are not our strengths because we are playing up an age group with Loughborough”.
“Our strength is our speed and our tackling on defence so that was a real challenge for us to get to grips with them. Offensively Calvin (Stitt) went down in the first quarter and Nathan (Webb) came on. Nathan did a great job of closing out the game for us and winning”.
Herod spoke of the challenge that they players faced in having to get their feet back on the ground after the high of beating France away the previous week. He felt a lack of focus early in the game was something his team had to overcome in order to have a successful outcome in Loughborough.
“After playing France, going up there on Friday night having played in front of 8 people the week before was a big mental challenge for our guys. It took us a while to get back into the swing of things. Also it was at the end of a half term week, so we did not have them in training that week”.
“Everything seemed a bit much for our guys on the day. I think we if we played them any other weekend, we are probably two to three scores better but on the day there were too many things interfering with our kids’ minds and taking their focus away from the game”.
“I think it was a really good learning experience for our guys and I think if you are going to be a really good team, you have to learn how to win ugly in tough places like this, and this was certainly winning ugly.”