Scunthorpe RUFC must go 'back to basics' to try to cut out costly errors, says Chris Neal
Full-back Chris Neal says Scunthorpe RUFC must go 'back to basics' if they are to put to bed an alarming couple of results.
Having previously won two of their first three matches of the season, the Greens have now slipped to successive defeats. But it is the manner in which they are shipping points that is of gravest concern.
A week ago Scunthorpe conceded 10 tries on the way to being steamrollered by South Leicester. Last Saturday, newly-promoted Sandbach took the amount of points scored against the Greens to 100 in just two matches as they wrapped up a 46-19 success.
Although such scenarios are not uncommon as one-offs, in what Neal describes as a 'strange culture' at Heslam Park, he desperately wants his side to pick things up before their confidence suffers as big a downturn as results.
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"We're conceding sloppy tries," explained the honest 23-year-old.
"It's not like other teams are creating something where you have to say 'fair enough' – they're coming from our mistakes.
"That's been the biggest issue with the last two weeks.
"We need to go back to basics – start from scratch. The technical ability is there, it's just individuals aren't performing.
"Pre-season was fantastic and up until the Longton game we were playing some really good stuff. We looked sharp and had the ability to score from anywhere on the field.
"These last two weeks have been totally different. We've looked beaten before we've even got on the field to be honest.
"In the five years I've been at Scunthorpe, there's always been the odd occasion where we'll just not turn up. We'll go through the motions and get beat.
"We need a couple of individuals to get us going forward and things will get back to normal then."
Although beaten, Neal believes the Greens' flourishing finish at Sandbach has given them a platform upon which to build when they face Newport (Salop) on Saturday.
Scunthorpe trailed 46-7 going into the final 15 minutes at Hyde Park, but scored two late tries to restore some respectability.
Repeating that favourable finale, but this time for 80 minutes, against Newport is a must.
And with the pressure starting to build, full-back Neal is confident he and his team-mates can produce a big performance.
"We gave away something like 25 points last weekend and probably 30 the week before, just because we lost possession," he continued.
"We've been struggling to keep the phases going, but when we do, like on Saturday, we played three or four phases and went 60 metres up the field. Then we don't keep the ball, they turn over and score.
"It's not really worrying as such, but at the moment we're not clinical enough.
"The main thing for Saturday is everyone has to concentrate on their own game than play as a team collectively.
"There has been some good stuff come out individually and when we have played as a team we've looked really sharp.
"There'll be a lot of physicality during training and when it comes to Saturday I think everyone will be hungry to prove it and the game will look after itself.
"As long as we keep getting the basics right, we'll win. I think we'll put in a good performance."