Warren Spragg talks to the Gazette

October 19, 2018
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The Blackpool Gazette’s Andy Moore spoke to Fylde Head Coach Warren Spragg on Wednesday. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette.

Warren Spragg makes no apologies for being “hyper-critical of his Fylde RFC players as he bids to help them to fulfil their potential in National Two North.

Spragg’s side bounced back from successive defeats with a crushing 47-7 Woodlands victory over Peterborough Lions last weekend, a welcome  boost ahead of tomorrow’s trip to  high-flying Hinckley. The head coach praised Fylde’s seven-try show but wasn’t afraid to criticise his side over the one they conceded, even though they held a 40-point lead at the time.

Spragg told The Gazette: “We should have nilled them. Peterborough’s try came from sloppy play on our part and not from any creative play of theirs. If we are to get close to fulfilling our goals we can’t be conceding tries to sloppy concentration errors.  We need to be a very difficult team to break down. I am hyper-critical at times because I really like these lads and I want them to be the best team they can possibly be.”

But overall Spragg was highly impressed with the performance of his side, who were boosted by the return of  Cam Crampton after injury. The scrum-half was pivotal as Fylde took full advantage of the wind at their backs in the opening 40 to establish a 28-0 lead at half-time.

Spragg added: “The lads were much better against Peterborough and I’m really pleased with that. We have been working hard on being more tactically astute and we used the wind well in the first half. Cameron and Greg Smith used the wind to kick long, apply pressure and force them into mistakes close to their line.

“Cam is going to be really important to us. Credit to Adam Lanigan, who has been really good for us in the last few weeks and has a future at the club (Crampton’s deputy replaced him for the final 25minutes against the Lions). But we came into the season with Cam as first choice and it is really good for the team to have him back. “

Following Peterborough, Fylde face another team they have never played before as they head to Leicestershire tomorrow.  Hinckley won their opening six matches before last weekend’s defeat at Chester saw them replaced at the top by Hull Ionians.

Spragg said: “It’s probably not an ideal time to be playing them. Their scrum and lineout are strong and their tight play is very good. They will be wounded from last week and so we are expecting some extra bite to their play.

“But we’ve challenged the lads to take their aspirations to a different level and we’re looking forward to a really good physical test.”

Fylde RFC will again be without key forwards at Hinckley tomorrow but head coach Warren Spragg is looking forward to having a fully-fit squad at his disposal in around a month’s time. Spragg expained: “Dave Fairbrother (calf) is probably another two to four weeks from fitness, and Ben Vernon (concussion) and Adam Lewis (knee) should also be back around the same time.

“It may be that they miss the next three games, then we have a week off , so hopefully after that we’ll have everybody back. Ralph Dowds has returned for the seconds and is a potential first XV selection. James Bailey is close too, so we have everyone on the way back.”

In the absence of the influential Fairbrother, Spragg was able to call on dual-registered Sale Sharks packman Sam Dugdale , who made a massive impression last Saturday. The coach added: “Sam will be a very good player. He looks like he has played 100 National League matches but the reality is he is just out of school and has played only five or six games of adult rugby.  He is an abrasive and physical player and is a great character to have around.”

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