Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Final Interview: Gareth Thomas


"Aliens..." c/o Annabel Wolf
As a second year head coach he has led the Stags to their first final since the single institution split with Solent. Before the big game, we spoke with Gareth Thomas...

This may not be the final you were aiming for at the start of the season, but how important would a win be on Saturday for the Stags going forward?

We were disappointed to not make it into the Championship playoffs, but all games are important and this one is no different. It's not the final we were aiming for but it will allow the team to develop further and provide a solid base for next season.

NTU, like the Stags, have put up some impressive performances in the plate post-season. What do you expect to see from them?

I think NTU's results speak for themselves. Few points conceded and a lot of points scored. We know their offense is dangerous but we have a Defense that is flexible and can adapt quickly to key threats. NTU's Defense will be a challenge but again, we are able to adapt our offense to attack any weaknesses we find. I think on both sides of the ball it's going to be a tough game and that opportunities need to be taken quickly as they won't last long.

Your offence seems to have been somewhat limited in its production after Christmas. But having put up 29 and 35 points in the last two weeks, are they back to the offence we saw before the Christmas break?

Offensively we've been working on developing different personnel in key positions. We've been plagued with injuries and this highlighted a slight lack of depth in some positions. We've worked hard to improve this and it's good to see the offense putting points back on the board, however i don't think we've seen the full potential of our offensive unit unleashed yet.

Defensively you have been exceptionally strong this year, only conceding 42 points in the regular season. Do you expect NTU’s offence to be the strongest you have faced all season?

We've faced a wide variety of different formations and styles this year. It's been tough to adjust to all of these on a weekly basis but we've always spent  lot of time and effort in scouting our opponents. I think this has been the key to the defenses success over the past years. NTU pose a different threat to previous teams we've faced and it's difficult to comment on whether they will be the strongest we've come up against but we will certainly be preparing with the mindset that this is our toughest game yet.

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