SWINDON coach Neil Loader hailed his side’s defensive display in their 13-0 win over Wiltshire rivals Salisbury as the best he has seen since he returned to the club.
Tries from Charlie Vine and Ben Saville and a penalty from Adam Westall were enough to claim the victory at Greenbridge Road on Saturday, securing a result which moves the club up to third in South West 1 East with six games to go.
Loader has been back at Swindon for four seasons following a spell in Italy, and was delighted with the way his side held firm in the second half against their county rivals.
“A 13-point difference was a fair reflection of the game I think, although both sides could probably have scored more points,” he said.
“They broke us a few times and maybe should have scored, and they stopped us a few times which maybe we should have converted too, but we were pleased with the result.
“In the second half our defensive effort was phenomenal, and it was probably the best I’ve seen in the four seasons I have been back at the club, and it showed how much we wanted to win the game.
“To beat Salisbury is a big thing for us because they are Wiltshire rivals, and it is the only derby game we have at the moment. The boys were buzzing massively after the game, and it was a great place to be.
“The players have to take an awful lot of credit for the way they performed, and I thought Charlie Vine in particular had a great game.”
The victory saw Swindon leap-frog Reading into third, but Loader is more focused on hanging onto the position rather than pushing Old Centralians, who lead by 17-points, for second place.
“In all honesty I don’t think Old Cents will drop enough points for us, although we are capable of winning every one of our games we have left,” he said.
“We still have to play Bracknell which is a massive task, and we are capable of winning because they are not unbeatable.
“With six games to go we already have as many wins as last year, and although we have lost some games we should have won, we have found a way to win the matches we were not able to last season.
“I am massively happy with third, and we want to stay there, but now it is Reading chasing us and not us chasing them.
“It is easier to be the chaser, but if we keep on winning we will stay ahead and finish third.”