BOURNEMOUTH head coach Will Croker admitted he struggled to keep his cool during his side’s 52-30 defeat at Maidenhead.

On a 3G pitch at Braywick Park which the visitors struggled to get to grips with, Lions were beaten for the fourth time in South West Premier this season.

But the club’s director of rugby was adamant he would not be labelling the tricky surface as an excuse for his team’s below-par display.

Croker admitted he told some “home truths” during the interval in Berkshire, when Bournemouth trailed 26-13.

Despite picking up more points in the second period, Lions were left licking their wounds as their four-game winning run in the division came to an end.

Croker told the Daily Echo: “We were not good enough and I made my feelings pretty clear on it.

“At half-time I lost my rag a little bit.

“It’s not really my management style. I am not a shouter or a screamer but sometimes you do need to tell some home truths and, on Saturday, I did convey a fairly direct team talk.

“It was the first time this season where I felt we had just been beaten by the better team on the day.

“They had some big carriers and were abrasive. I think we got caught in the headlights a little bit.”

Lions’ tries during the encounter were scored by Adam Davies, Luca Firetto and Dan Stewart.

The remaining 15 points came from the boot of place-kicker Grant Hancox, who took to 129

his tally of league points this season.

Maidenhead have won all five of their home games this campaign with just one victory coming on the road.

And it was in the scrum that Croker felt the hosts held the biggest advantage on their own patch.

“I don’t want to blame the surface because we just didn’t play well enough,” he added.

“But the boys struggled to scrummage on it because there was no slide at all.

“If you imagine on a muddy pitch your boots slide and even if you were going backwards you could find some purchase.

“With this pitch your boots stuck in the ground. If you went backwards, you had to move your feet.

“As soon as you lifted your feet off the ground you would go backwards. They utilised that and did it very well.

“It took us about an hour before we managed to find any parity in the scrum.

“But on the whole, I am

not somebody who will make excuses.

“We just simply were not good enough on the day – they were the better team.”

Despite defeat, Lions remain third in the table behind Newton Abbot and Dings Crusaders.

The Chapel Gate side host eighth-placed Brixham on Saturday (2pm). They overcame Newton Abbot 33-20 at home last time out.