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Wycombe coach: It's time to step up
HIGH Wycombe RUFC coach Luke Harding has told his players to sort out their mental attitude after Thatcham put more than 60 points on them on Saturday.
They lost 63-22 to continue a worrying downward spiral that has been gathering pace ever since they began the Southern Counties North season with a thumping victory over Royal Wootton Bassett.
And Harding believes it’s a mental issue as much as anything else.
He said: “The score reflects well on them but we just haven’t turned up for the last three weeks.
“After that first excellent win, we can’t start thinking we are just going to win every game. That’s the mentality we are trying to get out of some of the players.
“Yes, we came down a league, but we don’t know these teams and we have to get the mental side right.”
Wycombe followed their 60-point victory on the opening day with a 27-27 draw with Stow-on-the-Wold.
They conceded 41 points at home in their next match before Saturday’s crushing result brought things to a head for the Kingmead club.
Harding said: “It was a game could have won, but six of their tries came from our own mistakes and for some reason we couldn’t catch and pass, we were throwing intercept passes and we couldn’t tackle.
“Some of their players were running through four or five tackles and that’s just not on.
“They were bigger than us, but I put that down to personal pride in wanting to make that tackle.”
Harding has also identified a fitness issue within the squad, and training has been brought forward from 7.30pm to 7pm to allow for more physical work.
He said: “This was a bit of a wake up call for us and we have to step it up. We have to step up our fitness and step up our mental attitude.”
Wycombe were actually well in Saturday’s game at half time.
Although they conceded three quick tries – including a length-of-the-field intercept – they battled back into it to trail just 19-15 at the interval.
The second half was a different story though, with the home team simply running away with it immediately after the restart.
Matt Wardles crossed twice for Wycombe with George Yates also scoring, but missed tackles meant this game was only headed one way.
Tomorrow they host second-from-bottom Alchester in a game they simply must win.
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