KIERON Dawson wants his side to lose the fear factor and get back to playing their trademark style of free-flowing rugby.
The Worthing Raiders head coach admits they are deep in relegation trouble in National 1. He feels that the fact his side are playing not to lose has impacted on their style of play and is, ironically, costing them much-needed victories.
Dawson said: “Last year, we were able to compete because of the way we played but, because of our precarious situation in the league, we are playing within ourselves.
“We did not off-load the ball today and we are starting to move away from that style because we are scared to do it in case it leads to mistakes, and those mistakes lead to scrums and they lead to penalties and they lead to tries.
“We have gone within ourselves and we are not playing that style where we could accommodate young, smaller players and the conditions don’t help either, but we know where we are, what we have to target and what we have to win.”
Dawson has targeted March as an important month, when a number or players will return to the side for crucial clashes with teams around them. He said: “The difficult thing for us is that we have to convince the players that they still have to play to win.
“It’s the classic where we are playing desperately not to lose, so they don’t make that little off-load or that pass, because you don’t want it to be knocked-on in case you lose the game, where actually, you should make those as they are the ones that will win you the match.
“We will work on the mind set. We are probably three or four weeks off being full strength again, but when we are we know we shall be able to compete and get the wins we need.
“There is a lot to address, but Rosslyn Park are going for promotion and we are fighting for survival. We have games we have earmarked that we have to win. Hopefully, we will have most of our personnel back in March for a run of games that we have to win.”