After the Blues beat Hull 36 – 26 on Saturday, it’s another week and another 5 league points. Head Coach Geoff Wappett admits the team have not hit top gear yet but has defended their style of play.
“I think we were pretty much always in control in the sense that we dominated the ball.
“I can’t appreciate when people go on about us playing ten-man rugby, I like winning rugby and if it requires us to play in a particular way, so be it,” he explained.
“The great thing about rugby is anyone can play it how ever they choose, we’ve chosen to play in a particular way and the last three weeks it’s worked quite well.”
Having said that, the coach knows the performance was far from perfect, and insists the best is yet to come from this team. Given the score lines in recent weeks, when they do hit full throttle it could be big.
“It wasn’t ideal, there are still a lot of things to work on, but it’s a long season and we’re not hitting our full straps yet.
“But when we do, somebody is going to get damaged, it may not be this week or next but it is going to happen.”
When his team come off second best in a passage of play because the opposition have produced a bit of magic, Wappett can take that. But he has a problem with it, when it’s self-inflicted.
“I don’t mind it when the opposition do something good to stop us scoring or to score themselves, it’s when we are making trouble for ourselves or giving away soft penalties away.
“It’s those errors where we are shooting ourselves in the foot.”
In the opening three games, the Blues have gone through four different outside halves. In a position where you need stability that is an incredibly tough challenge to face, but that’s rugby and that’s what it’s all about.
“We overcame it, it was a problem and we had to engineer ourselves to play the game in a particular way and in the end it worked out,” said Wappett.
The coach was full of praise for his forward pack who have laid the foundation for all three wins so far this season. Their dominance at the set piece and in the driving maul have been unparalleled so far.
He was also quick to point out that we have some quality players on their way in to bolster that pack.
“Our forward pack scrimmaged well and we’ve got Francois Bester to add to our front row capacity next week and we’ve got Matt Owen to add to our back five so we’ve got a lot of experienced forwards with physicality.”
Wappett also sent some praise to his captain, Tom Eaton, who has taken on the difficult task of moving from ten to nine. The scrum half is a specialist position on the field, like hooker, and it’s a tough to just step in and do a job.
“Tom Eaton has taken on that job, it’s not easy to go from ten to nine and he’s captaining the team so he’s got an enormous responsibility on his shoulder so I support him in whatever he does.
“He was the first to admit that he kicked the ball to much, but it’s when players admit their faults that you can do something about it.”
Heading in to next week the Blues are 15 from 15 points in the league, still on course for Wappett’s target of 20 points from September’s rugby.
“All the things that we set out to do are still attainable, we go to Sedgley next week with a confident team and there’s no reason why we can’t be looking for a bit more of the same.”