Tactical dilemma for Swindon's Loader
NEIL Loader is considering his tactical options after admitting Swindon's South West 1 East opponents have sussed out their brand of fast, running rugby.
The Greenbridge Road side might still be relatively new to the division, but coach Loader is increasingly aware that his team are often not being allowed to play the expansive game they would like.
Last weekend's victory over Swanage & Wareham was a primary example, with the visitors constantly trying to disrupt Swindon's rhythm.
Although his side were able to record a 29-6 victory, Loader is conscious that in tomorrow's home clash with Bletchley, and subsequent fixtures, different tactical routes will need to be explored.
“Sides know what Swindon are about now, they know we want to play sexy rugby, and they know if they allow us to do that, we will put them to the sword,” he said.
“They want to make sure our possession is dirty, and perhaps it’s time we started concentrating on plan B and plan C. “We haven't really had that before, and I’ve had a number of chats with (fly-half) Adam Westall about other plans we might want to have. “Saturday (against Swanage) was our first wet-weather game of the season, and admittedly we didn’t help ourselves at times with our skill level, but we didn’t adapt to the conditions as we could have done.” Loader also admitted his side needed to become more savvy at the breakdown, something he admitted only match practise could improve.
“The weekend before last we played a side that are similar to us in Salisbury, and as well as playing rugby, they destroyed us at the breakdown,” said the ex-Rugby Parma chief.
“On Saturday, we were fortunate in that Swanage weren’t able to do much with the possession they had. “We’ve got to learn how to control the breakdown. We like it to be fast and we probably aren’t committing enough numbers to it sometimes. It’s about learning when to commit that extra man.”
Bletchley may have had a mixed start to the campaign, but Loader expects the Buckinghamshire side to show similar strength to when the teams met at Bletchley's Manor Fields home last season.
“Last year when they came to us, Bletchley were really weak because they were missing a lot of players, and we destroyed them,” said Loader. “When we played them up at their place they were well-organised, had a big centre that carried well, a good set of forwards and a good goal kicker. “They will probably be their main threats again.”
Nick Warren (calf) and Ben Saville (shoulder) both came off injured last Saturday but could be in contention to return tomorrow.
Long-term absentee Jack Badminton, who can play at full-back or on the wing, is expected to return to the fold soon, but this weekend will be too early.
Badminton has been out through injury for around a year and is likely to play for Swindon's second-string before coming back into the first team.