Evolving playing style working wonders for Kendal claims director of rugby Steve Whitehead

The Westmorland Gazette: Evolving playing style working wonders for Kendal claims director of rugby Steve Whitehead Evolving playing style working wonders for Kendal claims director of rugby Steve Whitehead

DIRECTOR of rugby Steve Whitehead insists Kendal’s performance in the victory over Wilmslow was the culmination of four weeks work and owes a lot to a change in emphasis.

Following the departure of Alistair Livesey from Mint Bridge a little over a month ago, coaching duties have fallen to Whitehead and backs coach Nick Milner.

And the former openside flanker believes his players are buying into the new style of play which he believes better complements the abiliies of his squad.

“Since Alastair left it has been down to myself and Nick and a couple of the senior lads in the side to develop a style of play that better suits us,” he said.

“The lads seem to be buying into it and getting more confident – I think over the last four weeks we have started to see steady progression towards our potential.

“Alistair brought a certain style of game which is what he believed in coach-wise and while undoubtedly a very good style of rugby I don’t believe it played to the squad’s strengths.

“While I didn’t disagree with any of it, I did not believe we were capable of implementing it for 80 minutes so we’ve adapted it slightly.

“I think four weeks on from that we are seeing a lot more confidence and seeing the side finish the last 20 minutes strongly as opposed to dying off.”

Whitehead has spoken of his desire to blood youngsters and have a selection policy which emphasises the development and nurture of emerging talent.

And while the performance of the entire playing staff on Saturday was pleasing, the 43-year-old highlighted the contribution of some of Kendal’s hot prospects.

“At some point you have to be honest about where you are and the size and age of your squad and back young lads,” he added.

“The progression of Mark Carruthers has been nice and steady and despite the odd error the positives in his game on Saturday were brilliant.

“Glen Chesher continues to improve week by week and Dan Lowther has bossed the game at ten – in fact it was one of the best performances I have seen from any ten.

“It’s very early stages but to see young lads come in who have got drive and flair and want to do well is uplifting.”
 

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