MATLOCK RFC 1sts go into Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated game at local rivals – and Midlands One East leaders – Derby in fine fettle after thumping Peterborough 55-9 at the weekend.
Coach Alan Johnson was delighted with the display and says his team cannot wait to tackle Derby.
He said: “It was a superb display, one of our best performances and, bearing in mind how badly we played at their place earlier in the season, you could say it was the best result so far.
“We trained really well during the week and went into it with a positive attittude. We kept our discipline and played really well too.
“A couple of tries were among the best we’ve scored this season. Both the forwards and backs were impressive. Our fitness was excellent and we could have played on for another 30 minutes.
“We were helped by the fact the pitch was in perfect condition and that’s money well spent by the club.”
Alan Johnson praised all the players but a few in particular caught his eye.
“Harry Morton, at full back, in his first full game, was really good and showed no nerves at all while Henri Packard pulled off some blistering runs and they just couldn’t live with his pace.
“Ben Neville, as always, was a standout in the centre. In the forwards, James Cooper was immense and Scott Robinson and skipper Jack Wagg impressed all round the park.
“When Scott had to go off at half-time, James Shooter came on and he was amazing too.
“This Saturday, we go to Derby without fear. On paper it’s a tough game, and unless they self-implode, they should be go up this year, but we’re looking forward to it and although we’re away to the leaders, we all know form can go out of the window for a local derby so there’s no pressure on us.
“There is a fierce and longstanding rivalry but no animosity.
“We have enjoyed a series of very physical games with Derby and we’ve got to try and nullify their big forwards and very strong backs, and take the game to them.
“We must keep our focus and build on all the good points from the Peterborough game.”
For a match report, see page 33.