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Mobbs-Smith: ‘There’s never a good time to play the leaders’

Head coach believes improved display against Dorking would change the ‘whole dynamic’


Maidenhead RFC are set to travel to league leaders Dorking this weekend as the London & South East Premier Division resumes following the festive and New Year break.

And, while head coach David MobbsSmith doesn’t think there’s ever a good time to be playing the leaders away from home, he doesn’t see why the visitors can’t make life extremely difficult for Dorking and, perhaps, cause an upset.

That seems unlikely, given the sides’ respective positions in the table, with Dorking holding a seven-point lead over their nearest rivals having lost just once all season and Maidenhead having picked up only three wins (and 10 defeats) from their 13 games so far. But performanc­es have been noticeably better in the past couple of months and Mobbs-Smith is confident that will soon start to show in their results as well. He’s looking for them to show Dorking how much more resilient they are now than when the sides played at Braywick Park in September, when the visitors ran out comfortabl­e 43-20 winners.

“Playing the best team in the league away is always tough, no matter when you do it,” he said. “They’re a good side. It’s a tough fixture to play, but we don’t know what position they’re in and what factors have changed at their club over the last few weeks.

“Sometimes you have a player who moves on and plays somewhere else and that makes a difference.

“But they’re a good side. The break has given us a chance to get a couple of injured players back and things like that, and this almost feels like the first game of the season again. It is literally the first game if the second half of the season. We still have some of the best teams to play in this period, so we’ll see what’s left for us after that.”

A positive performanc­e at Dorking will set the side up nicely for more winnable looking matches at home to Tring and then away to Tunbridge Wells, and Mobbs-Smith is hoping victories in these matches will bring about a positive change in team dynamic.

He added: “There are upsets in the game. Maybe not so many as there are in football, but it’s not like we’ve been a million miles away. We may be able to put them under some kind of pressure.

“A 10 per cent increase would put us in contention. It will be a good measure for us, of where we are, how much we’ve improved, in the score line and in terms of our performanc­e. Can we put ourselves in the game for an hour and give ourselves a chance of winning it? That will very much depend on our training this week and the strength of both teams going into the game.

“I think most teams in the London area will have players in isolation at the moment and that will effect both clubs. But both teams want to play, irrespecti­ve of those issues.

“The ambition is to improve on our results so far. Have we learnt enough over the first half of the season to apply it in the second half? Performanc­es have got better but now we have to show it in our results.

“Sometimes things go your way in sport. A bounce goes your way, and you don’t even see it, you just think you’ve won because you feel you played the better rugby and deserved it.

“You overlook a decision which went your way that may have changed the momentum of the game.

“Sport is so much about momentum and team dynamic. People think they stay the same all the time but they’re not.

“When you’re winning the changing room is very different to when you’re losing a lot and the dynamic between players and people can change dramatical­ly. That’s the beauty of sport.”

 ?? ?? Maidenhead's season resumes with a trip to play the leaders Dorking on Saturday.
Maidenhead's season resumes with a trip to play the leaders Dorking on Saturday.

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