Apoplectic Niall Thomson has slammed his Spalding RFC players after Saturday’s abject showing at chief title rivals Belgrave.
Town were smashed 46-6 in Leicestershire as they slipped off the top of the Midlands Two East (North) table for the first time this season.
After ten wins on the spin, it’s now back-to-back league losses for the Memorial Field side – and fuming coach Thomson pulled no punches in his criticism of the team.
“I’ve just about cooled down now,” said the Scot. “But I’m still apoplectic.
“It was a total capitulation, particulary by the front five. I don’t like to name names, but it’s the truth.
“The simple fact is that we were bullied. But what worries me the most is the lack of desire and committment.
“They were better than us all over the pitch and adapted to the conditions much better.
“Despite a severe half-time dressing down, things didn’t really improve and we were abject all over the park.
“They did their homework and targeted our key players, but we should have been able to deal with that.
“The only people that did their job and can walk away with their heads held high are Josh Finch, Ed Duerden and James West. The rest need to sort it out – and quickly.”
Despite suffering their worst defeat of the season, Spalding are only one point behind new leaders Belgrave with ten games still to play.
They are still perfectly placed to bounce straight back to the promised land of Midlands One East, but Thomson feels his young side need to be a little more street-wise in the run in.
He added: “Of course we can still bounce back from this and win the title. We’ve not become a bad side all of a sudden.
“But I told them in November that our main problem could be complaceny – and so it has proved. We looked like a team that expected to just turn up and win on Saturday.
“We got what we deserved and have to move on. This is a very young side and we’re entering the tough part of the season now. The winter conditions don’t really suit us, but we’ll have to adapt better.
“It’s going to be a battle and we’ll have to be much better than we were on Saturday.”
Town return to action with their first home game of 2014 this Saturday, with Dronfield the visitors.