MATLOCK RFC 1sts aim to get back to winning ways on Saturday after back-to-back defeats in the Midlands One East against their local rivals.
After acquitting themselves well in a loss at leaders Derby the previous weekend, Saturday’s game at Ilkeston saw Matlock go down 38-18 at The Stute in a game where they started slowly, pulled themselves back into contention before the Elks added crucial second half points to win it.
Coach Alan Johnson admitted the best side won.
“Ilkeston played extremely well, and they just didn’t let us get into it for the first ten minutes.
“They kept the ball better than us, they were very physical upfront and although there were some positives to come out of it, there was no doubt that they were better than us on the day.”
After two weeks on the road, sixth-placed Matlock return to Cromford Meadows on Saturday to entertain third-bottom Leighton Buzzard.
“I’ve reminded the lads that the good thing about league rugby is you soon have a chance to put right the things that went wrong in the previous match.
“We lost down there earlier in the season and suffered three injuries to key players, of which only one of those has come back so far.
“Having said that, we were pleased to see Jonny Bunting making his comeback for the thirds on Saturday as he broke his leg at Leighton Buzzard in November. We are delighted he’s on his way back and we hope he’ll be pushing for the firsts in a few weeks.
“But all in all, it’s not a game we look back on with any fondness so there’s plenty of incentive to put things right on Saturday and win the game.
“We need to build on the positive aspects of the last two weeks, particularly when we turned in a really creditable performance at Derby, and step it up a gear on Saturday, when we need to make sure we don’t let the opposition get on top from the off.”
Kick-off is at 3pm.