Despite a 26-9 bonus-point win against Hull Ionians that secured seven wins on the bounce for Albion, player/coach Kieran Hallett says that his side are disappointed because the performance wasn’t good enough.
Albion stormed to a 19-0 lead through Michael Stupple, Robin Wedlake and Setakari Raumakita, but Hull fought their way back into the game. Albion were fortunate to score a late bonus-point winning try which Matt Shepherd claimed in the last play of the afternoon. Albion remain second and are three points ahead of third-placed Ampthill & District.
“That’s not my goal,” said Kieran about finishing second. “I keep saying we are performance orientated not outcome orientated. Yes, we have won but everyone is disappointed. We are disappointed with a five-point win at home because of the way we have played. What we are trying to build and what we are trying to achieve, that performance is not good enough second-half.”
“First half I thought we were very good. Second-half I thought we were very poor. I wasn’t happy with a few calls. I felt that there were a few calls that didn’t go our way that maybe helped even the game up a bit. But, set-piece failed, line-out failed and for 40 minutes we have been outplayed by a team that is in the bottom three and that is not good enough.
“At the start of the week we set out and said we want a five-point win at home and we have achieved that. Some of the stuff we did first-half was real high end. Some very good attacking play. But we can’t let ourselves be dominated by a team that is near third from bottom at home.”
Kieran didn’t play for Albion and was replaced by Harvey Skinner whose performance Kieran praised. However, Albion’s coach questioned his sides second-half performance and said they need to collectively improve.
“Harvey played very well,” said Kieran. “The telling moment for me was the tackle right at the end. They made the interception and Harvey has come all the way across the pitch and made a tackle, we have turned it over and we have gone the length. That for me sums up everything about the kid. That is just mind-set, pure mind-set to make that tackle. He did very well.
“Rupert [Freestone] played well. His first start in a while. But we have got to work out collectively what happened second-half. Why were we so dominant first-half then second-half we couldn’t hold onto the ball?
“We were perhaps a bit rusty from the week off. Maybe we have got to look at what we did in training. We felt we got it right, but perhaps [not]. It’s the first time in a while we have not been there physically. We were not at the level we need to be at so we have got to address that this week. It was similar to the Loughborough game, but first-half we are so dominant and controlling all aspects of the game into the wind and then second-half we just couldn’t.”