Kennedy looking for consistency and a top half finish for Windsor RFC

Finishing in the top half, or even top third of the South West 1 East Division is the ambition for new Windsor first team coach Neal Kennedy after the side registered their second victory of the season with a 33-24 win over Grove at Home Park.

It’s taken the Royals a little time to find their feet this season, with head coach Jack Pattinson moving into more of a mentoring role and the club returning to competitive action after the lockdown restrictions.

But slowly and steadily they’re finding their way, and victories over Chippenham and Grove have lifted the side to eighth in the standings.

There is set to be a major restructure of the South West league pyramid in the summer, with possible promotions on the table for clubs finishing towards the top of their respective divisions. It may be a bit of a stretch for Windsor to catch the sides who’ve been racking up the points this season, but Kennedy isn’t ruling anything out.

“It’s hard to tell at this level,” he said. “I’d have said Banbury and Bracknell will be up there and they are. But most clubs have had players come in and players leave since the last time we played competitive rugby so it’s difficult.

“We’re just looking for consistency in our performances and availability, and we also have an ongoing target to promote players from the Windsor Minis, Juniors and Colts. They need to be able to see players before them that have done the same and are now in the first or second team.

“The more we train and play together the better we’re going to become, but our real ambition is to have a club that’s built around the local community. I think top half or top third is possible. There’s going to be a reshuffle of the leagues next year and I think maybe the top four or top six could be promoted.

“We’ve given teams a head start if we want to get into that, but some of those sides still have to play us both home and away and we’ll need to get a consistent run of results and performances going.”

Kennedy took plenty of positives from Saturday’s victory over Grove, most notably the control they exerted through possession and territory for long periods, but he also saw plenty of areas for improvement.

“We always want to beat the teams around you and beneath you in the table and Chippenham and Grove are two of those sides,” he said.

“We’ve been working on being more consistent and keeping control of the ball, because you can only score if you’ve got the ball in your hand. We scored three reasonably quick tries which gave us some breathing space, but it’s about getting up from playing 50 per cent of the game well to 70/80/90 per cent well. If we can get up to those figures we’ll be a force to be reckoned with for anyone in this league.”

He added: “But it’s also not disrespectful to Grove to say I don’t think we should have let them score four tries on Saturday. We should have held them to two or three, so, there’s always little things we can work on. There’s always more that we can give and more that we can do.”

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