Cross Keys need to improve – Leon Andrews
12:31pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in Sport
CROSS Keys captain Leon Andrews confesses his side need to improve as they return to Principality Premiership action at home against Bridgend after their successful British and Irish Cup adventures.
Despite an impressive start to their season, which has seen them chalk up six wins out of eight, the Pandy Park side haven’t been playing at their full potential.
A case in point was last week’s 24-15 victory away at Ealing when Keys let the English Championship strugglers off the hook.
The Gwent Valleys had secured a bonus point when they led 24-5 early in the second half, only to fail to press home their advantage and leave leafy west London pondering what might have been.
That win saw them progress nicely in the British and Irish Cup, trailing holders Leinster A on points difference, following a hard-earned 20-16 home triumph over Moseley.
Their successful afternoon at Ealing’s Vallis Way was built on forward power and an all-conquering driving lineout that the hosts had no answer for, Keys’ tries coming from a hat trick courtesy of lock Tom Lampard and one from Newport Gwent Dragons back rower Ieuan Jones.
But their victory should have been more emphatic than the eventual nine-point winning margin and there was a twinge of regret as they left Ealing’s impressive ground and facilities on Saturday evening.
“We were pleased with our win – a bonus point away in the British and Irish Cup you’ll take every time – and two wins out of two in the competition means we can really look forward,” skipper Andrews said.
“But there are a few areas to improve on and we certainly need to be more clinical.
“The pack dominated Ealing, it was a really good performance by them, but the backs needed to take the game to them a bit more.
“It was a little frustrating, but we’ll look to improve, starting with Bridgend.”
The victory over Moseley and a 29-13 triumph over Llandovery in the league last month were similar to the Ealing success in that big half-time leads were allowed to be frittered away.
Keys head coach Greg Woods agreed his side need to kick on but explained why they aren’t putting together complete performances yet.
“We’ve won a lot of games already this year and haven’t played well,” he said.
“We are commanding games in parts but are then scrappy in other periods – I think a lot of that is down to the changes we are making but that will benefit us in the long run after Christmas.
“We played Rhys Jones at ten for the last half an hour against Ealing (he switched from full back to replace Dragons outside half Steffan Jones) and he did really well.
“We’re keeping our squad bubbling along and to win like we are is great, but we’ve got a lot of improving to do as well.”
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