UTTOXETER RFC boss Donald Hayes is looking for a big response from his side after they sank 33-3 at title-chasing Veseyans at the weekend.
The Town were taken apart by the Midlands Three West (North) leaders in the opening 40 minutes.
In the second half, Hayes’ side improved markedly, but still went down to a heavy defeat.
On Saturday they face basement outfit Yardley & District at Oldfields – and Hayes wants to see a response.
“This week we host Yardley I expect an improvement from this week’s performance,” said the former front row forward.
“I’m looking for confidence, courage and energy from our players.
“Yardley won’t be waving any white flags with the looming prospect of relegation and our players have got to be prepared to put in a big shift.
“In sum, I’m looking for a response on the field.”
Hayes was disappointed with the first half at Walsall-based Veseyans as Uttoxeter were caught cold.
“We didn’t travel well this week,” he said. “It was obvious from the outset that we were going into the start of the fixture cold.
“There was a lack of belief among the players that we were going to get anything out of the fixture.
“At the start of the game Veseyans completely blew us away, the ball was shipped out of contact at a speed that we could not handle.
“By half-time we were 33-0 down and the writing was on the wall.
“However, at half-time we seemed to wake up and we took the game to Veseyans a bit more up front and we contested the contact area with more conviction.
“We created chances but unfortunately lacked the killer instinct to put them away.”
After the shell-shock had worn off at the break the Town improved and Hayes thinks they can take the improvement into Saturday’s match.
“There’s a lot to be taken from the second half,” he said. “We played a good tactical kicking game and played the right kind of rugby in the right places.
“We were excellent in the set pieces and this put Veseyans under a lot of pressure which resulted in us keeping a clean sheet and actually winning the second 40 minutes.”