SWINDON Storm head coach Steve Bennett has labelled tomorrow’s clash with Bristol Apache as ‘gut check week’ as his side bid to bounce back from their heavy opening day loss.
Storm went down 55-6 to former British champions Farnham Knights on the opening day while Apache were similarly heavy losers against Solent Thrashers.
Bennett wants to see more from his players this weekend and believes the result against Bristol tomorrow could go on and shape their season.
“This one is a real acid test for us because we got a good beating in our first game against Farnham, while Bristol were beaten well by Solent,” he said.
“I’m labelling this one as ‘gut check week’ because both teams are in very similar positions and we are already in a position where we need to win a lot of games to try and get a wild card slot for the play-offs.
“We have to face Solent and Farnham again too so we really need to win this game and probably the next one to get a positive win ratio for the season. Both teams have something to prove so the players need to show me something.
“This is season two, game two for Swindon Storm and the players need to step up and show me and the rest of the coaching staff that they don’t want to be just another team in the National Leagues.
“If we can win this game we will really give ourselves a boost and we can work towards the following game. There were positives to take from the opening game and we need to work on things now.
“This is the time for us to set the tone for the rest of the season and show exactly what we’re capable of.”
While Bennett has been able to take positives from the Farnham defeat he is well aware there are certain areas in which his side must improve.
“Farnham scored on eight out of their nine possessions and five of the touchdowns were in the air,” he said.
“On first down they ran and we stopped them, second down they ran and we stopped them, then on third down the QB threw a bomb.
“We did manage to match them pretty well on the ground as our running games were pretty similar but their passing game took us apart.
“They were a very good and we have to take the positives because we did manage to score against them, although we certainly need to improve.
“We did have some good drives against them and managed to score a touchdown which was good because we scored against their starting unit.
“We are working on a pass defence and our blitzing package, mainly for when we see them again.
“This is a massive learning opportunity and we’ve had a couple of video sessions and done some good analysis on the game which is really helpful for us.”
Tomorrow’s game at Supermarine kicks off at 2.30pm.