Jersey deserved their victory, says Plymouth Albion coach Nat Saumi
ALBION coach Nat Saumi admitted his players were angry and frustrated after suffering yet another narrow defeat.
But Saumi said second-from-bottom Jersey deserved their 19-15 win at Brickfields –the Channel Islanders first Championship away triumph.
Saumi was once again disappointed his team left themselves far too much to do at the end, even if, like in their previous four matches, they did finish strongly.
"Again it was a game we had targeted, but we did not get the result," he said.
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"And yet again it came down to us playing catch-up rugby and it came back to bite us.
"We tended to wait for someone to ignite something. We did not go out from the first whistle and play rugby. We left it too late and ended up losing the game."
After a good start in terms of possession, Albion went in at the break 5-3 down before finding themselves 19-3 down inside the first 10 minutes of the second-half.
They did set up an exciting end with two late tries from replacements Tom Cowan-Dickie and Tom Bowen, but they could not snatch victory.
Saumi wished his team had shown the same intensity for the rest of the game as they did in the last 10 minutes.
He said: "We should have done that from minute one: played our own style of rugby. Towards the end they (Jersey) were tiring and I think that is why we managed to make those breaks.
"Urgency creeps in and we were trying to win the game, but we just fell short."
But Saumi praised Jersey for the way they played in such an important match for them.
After a slow start they got into the game with a couple of great forward drives that gave them confidence.
"They tried to tire us out with their forwards," said Saumi. "They knew our threat was playing rugby with width. They had done their homework."
When asked if Jersey had deserved their win, Saumi said: "I think so, with the way they controlled the game with their set pieces. They played basic rugby. They played territory and did very well."
The Albion players looked angry when they left the dressing room on Saturday night and Saumi likened the loss to the 9-3 one against Moseley in January.
"It was reminiscent to the game against Moseley," he said. "These were the games we had targeted and when you come up short the players are frustrated and angry, but, hopefully, that will help them try and win games."
Albion have just four matches to go this season – away to London Scottish, Bristol and Doncaster and at home to Newcastle.
They currently have a 12-point gap over bottom club Doncaster, so they should stay up. Doncaster would have to win three of their last four matches to overtake them and they do have high-flying Bedford and Nottingham to play as well as Albion and Jersey.
Saumi felt Doncaster's loss to Rotherham on Saturday will have lifted his players after their own defeat.
"When the boys see the results, hopefully, it will urge them to keep ploughing away to get a win. That's all they have to do," he said.
"The most important thing is to just stay in the Championship.
"We have got three away games and a tough home game against Newcastle. The boys were down after the loss on Saturday, but there is no one else to blame just us as a team.
"They just have to stand up again and start all over again. That's all they can do."
He added: "We just have to take one game at a time. There are four games to go.
"I think those bonus points we've picked up (11) have been a blessing for us. Hopefully, they will help us build for next season."
Saumi did praise the Albion crowd for turning up and cheering them on to the end.
"They always support us and we tried very hard in the last few minutes, but time caught up with us and beat us again," he said.