CHESTER coach Jan van Deventer insists his side will have to deliver a ‘tactically spot-on’ performance in Saturday’s home clash with Sedgley Park.
The inconsistency that has blighted Chester’s start to the season was plainly evident in last weekend’s 35-14 defeat at Leicester Lions.
A poor first half performance from the visitors saw the Lions establish a 21-0 half-time lead.
Two late tries added some respectability to the scoreline, but van Deventer was left unimpressed by his side’s slow start and wants a more complete showing against fourth-placed Sedgley.
He said: “We were second best in that first half and passed up some decent try-scoring opportunities.
“That’s not the first time this season that we’ve been unable to convert spells of pressure into points on the scoreboard.
“Away wins have proved hard to come by for us this season – not just us – other teams have too.
“Obviously that’s something we need to work on, but in the meantime we need to ensure that our home form remains good and that we’re spot on with our tactics and in our approach to Saturday’s game.
“That means being accurate and controlled with our set-pieces, focused at the breakdown and clinical with any of the chances we are able to create.
“If we don’t do that we’ll get punished as we have been in other league games this season.
“So it’s vital that we’re positive and mentally prepared for an opponent with a winning mentality.”
While Chester’s erratic form to date has produced five wins and five defeats, Park have won seven of their 10 games with two of those victories coming on the road.
However, the Greater Manchester club were made to work hard for the points last time out against basement side Wharfedale in a 43-30 win.
But while Park’s defensive frailties may have been exposed last weekend, van Deventer expects a stern test from one of the league’s in-form teams.
“In Sedgley we’ll be coming up against a well-established side in this division who have picked up some good results away from home too,” he added. “We know we’ll have to raise the bar in terms of our performance, and that’s the case whenever we come up against any of the top four sides in the league.
“Home advantage is massive and we want to capitalise on that and bounce back from the Leicester game with a win.”
Josh Woods sustained a hand injury against Leicester last weekend and could miss out for Chester.
Leaders Stourbridge host Sale, second-placed Tynedale go to Macclesfield, Otley host high-flying Hinckley and struggling Wharfedale have home advantage over Sheffield Tigers.
Luctonians entertain South Leicester, Huddersfield visit Sheffield, while Blaydon host Leicester Lions.
See full story in the Chester Leader