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1st Team Manager Reflect – Geoff Sluman

| 26/09/2017

Geoff SlumanReflecting on an impressive all round performance Geoff Sluman the Albion’s First XV team manager who was deputizing for head coach Simon Morrell on Saturday said: “ We were all very pleased with the team performance and the lads bounced back well from last week’s disappointments.

“Clevedon are a tough side who we haven’t beaten since September 2015, so it was a very pleasing result. Of course they coached by Nick Hill and his assistant Chris Heal, who have both been in charge at Bridgwater which added a little more interest to the game for us and made it a bit more competitive.”

He went on: “I thought that we still looked like a side still in development at times, because we have got  few new players coming in who are not quite used to the patterns we play, but every game that we are playing the boys are getting better and better, so there is still more to come.

“Our forwards responded well to the challenges they faced because Clevedon were a big pack and we didn’t get bullied at all.

“I thought that our opponents looked good in the first half so was very pleased that we went in leading, but they did play with the conditions and I don’t think Clevedon exploited them too well.

“At half time we said that we needed to capitalize on the conditions better than they did and we wanted to score first at the re-start and that is exactly what we did. Then once we got the next score after that we then managed the game really well.”

Sluman picked out another aspect of the team performance that he was pleased about.

“A couple of times we kicked long from our own half and just played in their half whereas the previous week at Bideford we tried to run it from our own 22 and made mistakes, so I am really pleased with the way that we closed the game out really.

“Our tactics were to run their heavy pack around in the first half and tire them out and then score in the second which as it turned out is what we did, and the boys executed the game plan so I am chuffed to bits. They owed that performance to themselves and they went out and delivered against Clevedon.”

This weekend Albion travel down the M5 to play against Cullompton, who were promoted back into South West One West at the end of last season.

Sluman said: “We played them a few seasons ago and they came back up this season. Last Saturday they beat Bideford and we lost to them, so we know its going to be a tough one, especially as it is down there. Going to their place will be a hard match so we will give them the respect they are due.

Albion expect to have winger Joe Clarke available for Saturday along with Alan Roberts the big prop in addition to which they didn’t pick up any further injuries against Clevedon.

Sluman added: “We have got some really challenging selection decisions to make going forward as there are a lot of players who are putting in good performances and we can only select 18 for match day. It is a nice problem to have and a credit to the players.”

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Category: Previews / Reports -XV

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