Injury crisis compounds Maidenhead RFC's early woes
By Rob Stevens • Published 14 Sep 2012 08:30 0 Comments
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Troubling times: Head coach Ricky Khan has had litle to cheer about so far this season.
RICKY Khan admits Maidenhead RFC face an uphill battle to avoid relegation from National League Three South West this season.
Maidenhead - champions of South West One East last season - have been plagued by injuries to date and suffered early defeats at London Irish Wild Geese and Weston-super-Mare.
And - although positives are thin on the ground at Braywick Park - head coach Khan is determined to keep moral in his injury-ravaged squad high with a third consecutive away trip to Malvern up next on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Speaking to the Observer, he said: "We are not being helped by injuries at the moment - it is just a juggling act.
"We are under the cosh but know what we have got to do - we've got to pick up points.
"As coaches we have got to make the players streetwise - it is not easy but it's a challenge.
"We are trying to stay positive, keep our minds on the job, and hopefully with the hard work we put in we will start to turn things around.
"As coaches we have just got to do our best to pick the team up and get our season back on track.
"We are only two games in so have got a little bit of time to turn things around - but have got to earn the right to be in this division."
Maidenhead suffered their second defeat of the new campaign last weekend - a 90-5 loss at Weston-super-Mare.
Khan knew it was going to be a tough trip to north Somerset but bemoaned the level of officiating on show.
He continued: "We felt it was going to be difficult against established teams like Weston-super-Mare who recruit from the league above.
"Saturday was a classic example of a team that are used to playing in this league against one that is not."
Khan added: "The first three of Weston's tries were sceptical with forward passes - the referee seemed to be mesmerised by their play.
"Teams that get the whipping do not get the rub of the green sometimes.
"We expect the top dogs to get the decisions - maybe we got away with one or two things ourselves last year?
"I cannot blame the referee for our performance - the heads went down and the
He added: "We did not stop trying to get onto the scoresheet.
"We put passes together and scored a try late on but I have never been on a hiding like it - we have just got to draw a line under it."
This Saturday's opposition Malvern have had an equally difficult start to the year losing 39-10 at home to Exmouth and 21-19 on the road at London Irish Wild Geese.
An optimistic Khan said: "After the weekend we will have a handle on how big our challenge is going to be - Malvern are a team we should be pushing against."
MAIDENHEAD RFC will make history on September 22 by becoming the very first rugby union team to play competitive rugby on a 3-G pitch.
Unbeaten Newton Abbott will be their first opponents on the new artificial surface.
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This article appeared in Royal Borough Observer 13 Sep 12