Melton RFC coach: Composure key to Twickenham bid

Melton RFC head coach Gareth Collins is targetting a famous league and cup double EMN-150330-150850002
Melton RFC head coach Gareth Collins is targetting a famous league and cup double EMN-150330-150850002

A national semi-final comes with huge anticipation, but Melton RFC head coach Gareth Collins insists it has been business as usual in the build-up to Saturday’s big game.

Collins has led the First XV to a league title and Midlands cup in his first season in charge, but has yet to accomplish his final pre-season target: a national final at Twickenham.

To get there he believes conquering the occasion will be equally important as outplaying their opponents.

“The occasion will come with both excitement and nerves and they have been around already,” he said.

“This week is all about trying to control those nerves and use them in a positive way.

“It is important not to get carried away on the day, and in training we will put ourselves under pressure to rehearse the situation.

“The guys are looking forward to it, there’s a such a big prize on offer.”

Collins knows what it’s like to play at Headquarters having done so twice during his years with the Leicester Tigers Academy set-up.

But he insists getting Melton to the biggest stage in English rugby would top the lot.

He said: “I’ve been there a couple of times, but it doesn’t make this any less special.

“This would probably be a bigger occasion because it’s about a team getting there as friends, with team-mates they’ve played alongside since they were small.”

He added: “Being at home is a big advantage and we tend to be strong there. We won’t do anything different and will adapt if we have to.

“We’ll look to dominate the set piece and the rest will take care of itself.

“We’re expecting it to be our toughest game of the season, but if you’re going to get to Twickenham you have to beat the best.

“The Midlands final was our best performance of the season and I fully expect us to replicate that or even surpass it.”