Director of rugby Steve Whitehead insists Kendal are hitting the right notes and on-track for productive season (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Director of rugby Steve Whitehead insists Kendal are hitting the right notes and on-track for productive season
WHILE injuries stifled the prospect of a fully on-song Kendal at the weekend, director of rugby Steve Whitehead believes the Mint Bridge outfit are hitting the right notes.
The Black and Ambers required a last-gasp try from replacement Garry Holmes to salvage a late draw against basement boys Leigh, who remain winless this season.
With Vale of Lune and Wigton both claiming victories Kendal drop two places to sixth in the League North One West table, although Whitehead is convinced his side are heading in the right direction.
“We’re pretty comfortable where we are as a side and our position in the league table,” he said.
“We had a couple of slip ups with the difficult game away game at Birkenhead Park when we were missing players with the wedding.
“But if you take that out we may be worth at least one place higher in the table but we’re certainly on course with where we need to be, which is in the top quarter of the table.
“Matches at the minute are all about trying to get a game that suits us and then taking things from there, something we’re starting to do.
“Against Leigh, still managing to come back and salvage something with all the disruption shows we’re not too far off the mark.”
Already without prop Billy Coxon, Kendal had to contend with the loss of skipper James Gough, Ollie Field and Jordan Johnson during their clash at Hand Lane.
Securing a draw despite back row forwards James Thompson and Liam Hayton employed on the flanks, Whitehead believes this highlights the character of his side.
“There are no bad teams in this league although there are clearly sides that are better organised and stronger than others but there aren’t any real duffers,” he added.
“Leigh are struggling to find that first win but have actually run a few sides close within the final few minutes so they are not as poor as the league stats show.
“We took some control early on and gained territory but we lost Goughy, Ollie and Jordan while we were in the driving seat.
“To lose these players caused major disruption with forwards having to play on either wing but I thought the lads acquitted themselves well and defended intelligently.”
Kendal host Liverpool St Helens on Saturday, a team currently ninth in the division with only a solitary away win to their name so far this season.
Given the over-manned Mint Bridge treatment room, Whitehead has pointed to the contribution of second row Liam Hayton as someone who continues to prove his worth in a Black and Amber shirt.
“There is an argument for Liam being man of the match every game so far this season, he has been brilliant,” he said.
“His performances have been fantastic. He is such a consistent performer and hits the top percentages of his game week in, week out.”
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