South Wales Scorpions’ coach Anthony Seibold believes that his team are heading in the right direction despite four successive defeats in Co-operative Championship 1.
The Welsh side head up to Gateshead Thunder this Saturday (kick-off 7pm) and Seibold feels that his side didn’t deserve to lose against joint leaders Blackpool Panthers on Bank Holiday Monday.
Their 28-24 defeat was the closest that anyone has pushed the undefeated Panthers to a defeat in the league this season as Scorpions became the first team in 2010 to win a bonus point for losing by 12 points or less when facing the Lancashire side.
“It was a case of so near yet so far again for us on Monday,” said Seibold. “To come up short by four points against the undefeated Blackpool, particularly after leading 24-16 with 20 minutes to go was very disappointing.
“Our effort levels and application did not deserve a defeat, but we switched off for only a couple of minutes and got hurt and that showed that Blackpool deserve their top of the table status and also that we still have a lot to learn.
“However with 12 games to play we are still sitting in sixth position due to our efforts in gaining four bonus points. Losses by one, four, six and six points in four of our defeats show that we are not far away from the top teams in this competition but our next two away fixtures against Gateshead and London are crucial. We will know just where we stand after the next two games. That will be the half way point to the season and will allow us to assess where we are as a team and as a club.
“It was great to see Craig Richards score a double on the weekend, I thought Jamie Murphy again was the best player on the field and Steve Parry made an impact. Liam Roach was able to make his debut for the club and worked hard along with Gil Dudson and Lewis Mills in our pack. It was a very physical contest and we have a short turnaround before we travel to Gateshead this Friday.
“This Saturday night in Gateshead will be a tough encounter and we are giving it the respect it deserves by going up on Friday in order to have the best preparation possible. Our thanks again go to Phil Davies, John Brennan, Rob Buckley and the other directors for making this happen.
“Finally, I feel the improvement we are making suggests we are heading in the right direction. My comments to the staff after the game were that if we had our side that played against Blackpool and we were to play our team that we put on the park for our first ever game in a hypothetical match the result would be that we would beat that original Scorpions team by 20 points. That is how much we have improved I feel.
“We got home in that first game on the back of a couple of individual efforts, we now look like a Rugby League team. I know it is hard losing four games in a row for all involved with the club, but keep the faith as I know as a playing group we are working hard each week. The last month has been a massive learning curve for the club and the players and will hold us in good stead.”