Giles took some time to reflect on a hard fought win last weekend against Leicester South
Congratulations on the win on Saturday. It sounds as though it was a proper battle!
Certainly, the conditions made it so. There was one hell of a breeze, blasting straight down the pitch. It always makes it hard to play good rugby, and no matter which way you start, there will always be a difficult half to face.
You must have been confident, going into the half having kept their scoring down to three?
We know we can defend a lead, but we knew with the wind in our faces, we’d be up against it in the second half. They have a strong kicking game. Both the Fly and 9 took advantage of the conditions, and we knew they would come back, so we made sure our mindset wasn’t just to sit back and defend the lead. We had to go out with the intention of scoring, and we did just that.
You sounded pleased with our ability to maintain possession
I was. We made sure we stopped them having the ball. In those conditions, you have to control play. We didn’t let them keep hold of the ball at all, which is a major plus. But then we made sure that we kept multiple phases of play, within the forwards, to keep the pressure on them.
Billy Robinson crowned off a special day for him with an excellent performance
To reach 200 caps is one hell of a milestone. He joins only two other players to have done that. He really is an evergreen player and he gave us the platform from which to play last Saturday. He would only expect a pat on the back, but he and Sam are the perfect examples of our guys doing the job. I always say to the players, go out and do your job as well as you can. Billy, Sam and the other guys were part of a massive pack effort. The front row worked their socks off and that gave us the opportunity to get our mauling game going.
You talk about wanting to play good quality rugby. How did Saturday’s game rank?
I would like to consider myself someone who wants to see the game’s greatest skills on show. Last week was one of those games when I think the outside centre touched the ball once.
It’s not how we normally play, but I have to say, there is nothing sexier than watching a maul powering forward like that! It can be frustrating for the backs, but it’s all about winning. I was loving it!
We have great ability within the squads. We can play the expansive game, but we can also close it up and play like we did on Saturday. It has taken us a few weeks to click, but now we need to build and learn from every game going forward.
Who stood out for you in the game?
Ryan has had time off with injury, to come back in and start, and to put in a man-of-the-match performance shows the mark of the man, and why he’s captain.
Our half back pairing were fantastic too. They gave us a high level of security I’ve not seen before. Chris got us moving around the field in the right way, and as a pair they allowed us to exercise a game plan and get a good win.
Hinkley on Saturday. Any thoughts going into the game?
It was good to get a win. But we need to win this week. It’s no good if we don’t put those things we talk about into place and put in some more improvement.
Hinkley are third at the moment, so that’s going to be a challenge. They are a good side; I’ve watched them quite a bit and they are well organised and coached – it’s why they are where they are.
We are well organised and coached too, but we have to make sure we respect them and do the job for the club and our supporters.
Hinkley have only conceded 12 fewer points than Macc this year, and looking at Macc’s stats, we have conceded fewer points than anyone else in our half of the division.
We have worked hard at being stingy. We had a change of defensive philosophy, with Marshal Gadd taking over running the defence. With the exception of the tigers game, we haven’t conceded many tries, and only one try in two weeks. In 160 minutes of rugby, that’s good going.
At times in the last few games we’ve been under the pump for 12-15mins solid defending. And we didn’t let them in. We never gave up and they didn’t look like scoring. It gives me great pleasure to see that, the guys getting back on their feet after every phase and working hard. We are working on our concentration levels and making sure we don’t switch off, or get distracted, because that’s what causes problems. I’m looking to see more of the right stuff this weekend.
The Blues play Hinkley away, this weekend. K.O. 3pm