WINDSOR head coach Anthony Andrews has challenged his side to learn from their 11-5 defeat at Sherborne in the National Cup on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

The cup tie saw the runaway leaders in Southern Counties North and South of South West clash, with the latter adapting to the conditions better to progress.

Both sides are on course to win promotion this season and Andrews believes it was a good learning experience for his young Windsor side.

He told the Observer: “It was a really interesting game because the conditions were pretty treacherous. Sherborne spent a few days clearing the pitch of snow but their ground was still really wet.

“There wasn’t much in the way of good rugby, but Sherborne managed the conditions better than we did and probably deserved their narrow win.

“We started the game in a positive fashion and very nearly scored a try in the first 10 minutes, but Sherborne held us up on their own line before gaining some territory themselves. They controlled the territory better in a real tight game.

“We scored a good try and had a few opportunities to score others, including one with the last play of the game, but there were a number of errors from both teams.

“It was good to get a little bit of experience now if we do go up this season. They bus journey was over two hours long and that brings its own challenges.

“The experience was a good one for us as a squad. Some of the players have probably not experienced a game like that for a long time, if ever.”

Andrews continued: “It was a very different game to what we have experienced for a long time really but we’ve learnt a lot.

“It’s disappointing to lose of course, but hopefully we will come out of it a little bit stronger.

“We’ve highlighted a few things that we need to work on and have talked about areas that we need to improve on as a squad.

“It looks like the weather will be a little bit better this weekend but we will work on a few things in training to improve our play in poor conditions. Maybe we were a little bit slow to adapt on Saturday.”

Windsor return to league action with a visit to Home Park from rivals and relegation-threatened Slough this Saturday (2.30pm).

Andrews has acknowledged his side need to show the Greenies some respect but hopes the result will take care of itself and Windsor can strengthen their position at the top of the table.

He said: “The good thing about this time of year is, if you do suffer a defeat, you can get back on the horse to put it right. We’ve not felt a loss for a while so we need to put that behind us.

“Teams can beat one another on their day in this league, so we must show Slough respect. They’re fighting to stay up so have extra motivation to get points on the board.

“We will treat Slough with respect and prepare the best we can. Hopefully, if we can execute what we want to in the game, then we will get another win to stay top.

“Slough will put us under a little bit of pressure but, if we play with the same level of intensity, then the result should take care of itself.”