Coach: team has a point to prove

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MATLOCK RFC 1sts coach Alan Johnson believes his side will have a few points to prove when they embark on their first home game of 2012.

Peterborough are the visitors to Cromford Meadows on Saturday for the Midlands One East match with Matlock going into it on the back of two defeats since the turn of the year, although they still retain their sixth position.

Matlock lost 20-3 at Peterborough back in October, a display Johnson believes was the team’s worst of the season so far and he feels they will need little in the way of motivation going into the game.

“We’ve got a few points to prove on Saturday and things the lads want to put right because I think it’s fair to say our performance at Peterborough earlier in the season was our worst of the season and we didn’t do outrselves justice at all.

“We lost something like 12 out of 14 lineouts, and the setpieces didn’t go well either so we are looking to get back on track, ahead of the week after when we travel to leaders Derby.”

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Last Saturday, Matlock lost 25-17 at Spalding, a defeat attributable to a 20-minute spell in the second half when the home side got on top.

By the time control was restored, it was too late for Matlock.

In a match where they were only 15-10 down going into the second half, the Matlock tries were scored by Tom Hooton, Ben Neville and Dave Ball with James Young adding one conversion.

Spalding scored three tries, one of which was converted, along with two penalties.

Scott Robinson was awarded man of the match for Matlock with a strong display in attack and defence on his debut appearance for the first team.

Before that, there was the 40-24 defeat at Paviors, again a game that Matlock felt they should have got something from.

Alan Johnson explained: “We were in a strong position at half-time and one or two errors cost us dearly. Sometimes we are playing in exactly the way the lads want to play, and that I want them to play in, but it is punctuated by costly errors and that was the case that day. Top sides like that will punish you if you give them a chance.

“So we are looking to cut out those errors, although we know that no-one one does them deliberately.

“We have a pretty young side and I think we forget that sometimes, but on the other hand there are other lads with five or six years of first team rugby under their belts so we have some experience there too.

“We get a bit excited and don’t put teams away when we have the chance to do so. But we’re not despondent. We’re still sixth, we have a good squad and the strength in depth is making selection difficult at the moment, even with the injuries.

“The lads are showing a positive attitude, training is going well and injured players will gradually come back.

“For the Spalding game, you could say we switched off for 20 minutes in the second half and by the time we got back on top it was too late.”

Weather permitting, Saturday will offer a bumper occasion down at Cromford Meadows with all three home sides in action.

In addition to the firsts, the second team entertain Notts Medics and the thirds are at home to Belper 2nds.

Alan Johnson concluded: “We’ve got three sides playing at home and that’s something we want to have more of, although it’s not always possible when one of the teams is being hammered by injuries.

“We are always on the lookout for players. Although we are a fairly small club, we like to attract players from quite a wide area, and the more the better, so anyone interested in joining the club can go to the website for more details at http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/matlock/”