Sheasby: ‘Don’t make last year’s mistakes again’By Adam Lee
January 29, 2009
Bracknell coach Chris Sheasby has warned his players they can’t rely on last-minute escape acts for the rest of the season.
Bracknell fought back to win Saturday’s South West Division 1 game at Barnstaple in injury time as Rudal Aiono forced a try to earn a 17-18 win.
Although Bracknell’s chances of claiming top spot and automatic promotion to the national league seem slim, Sheasby has targeted second place and a play-off place.
However, the former London Irish number eight doesn’t want his players to give away games cheaply in the run up to the end of the season, like they did last year.
“You do not always get your nine lives and we are using our nine lives up,” warned Sheasby.
“We did the same thing last year.
“I know we can get promoted.
“Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it’s frustrating – like last week against Coney Hill.
“We played as close to a controlled 40 minutes of rugby as you can get in the first half and made them look below average – rubbish in fact.
“Then we can play as we did in the second half and let them back into the game.
“We want to push on and nail teams away, like the Leicester of old, and move away in the last 15 minutes, not just hold on.
“Here (at Barnstaple) it was good to see that we are good enough to not run out of ideas, keep our composure and make good decisions.
“To be able to score that winning try shows an awful lot of character and quality in the team.”
Sheasby, though, reiterated what captain Ben Nowak said last week in that the Bracknell second team is full of talent and are waiting to get their chance in South West Division 1.
“We have a great squad with a second team that is vying for the top of the Canterbury Shield and are playing great,” said Sheasby.
“They are putting pressure on the first team.
“Look at Lash (Alan Leishman) he was man of the match for the second team last week and because of that he got his chance this week.
“There’s competition on the wings, there’s competition at scrum half, and the same in the pack.
“There’s loads of quality here.
“There’s Sparksy (Graham Sparks) still to come back, Kai (Blankley) to come back and that is a healthy squad.
“You have to fight every week and we’ll keep on doing that and by the end of the season we’ll be in second place.”
Bracknell started slowly against Barnstaple, but never looked like conceding a try, and even when the Chiefs scored a fifth-minute penalty, Bracknell still looked comfortable.
As half time drew closer, Bracknell were camped inside the Barnstaple 22, but couldn’t find a breakthrough, when suddenly the hosts broke the length of the pitch to score under the posts.
With the successful conversion, Bracknell somehow trailed 10-0 at the break.
The visitors fought back strongly in the second half, and a penalty and a converted Jason Borchards try saw them draw level.
However, on 70 minutes, with Bracknell forcing the issue, Barnstaple again scored a breakaway try after a cheap turnover, which they converted to go 17-10 ahead.
Ben Nowak, though, slotted over a penalty before Aiono forced the ball over in the seventh minute of stoppage time to earn Bracknell a deserved win.
The victory sees Bracknell close the gap on both leaders Clifton and second placed Bournemouth, who both lost at the weekend.
There is little doubt, however, that the outcome of the league could well be determined in the last three weeks of the season when Bracknell face Bournemouth and Clifton at home, sandwiched between a trip to local rivals Redingensians.
This weekend, however, Bracknell host Weston-Super-Mare in the league (kick off 2.15pm).