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Your News Schmid cracks the whip

ESHER have been warned to keep their discipline to challenge Championship title contenders Bedford at Molesey Road on Saturday. The Surrey side gave away 18 penalties and had two players sin-binned in their 22-11 defeat at Plymouth last weekend in their league opener.

Now Director of Rugby Mike Schmid has told his players there cannot be any repeat against a Blues side who rattled up 84 points in two comprehensive wins over Esher last season.

Esher were also victims of some bizarre refereeing decisions at Plymouth but Schmid insists they must put their own house in order before making any criticism of the official.

Schmid said: "We had 18 penalties against us, 10 at the scrum, and you can't win any match by giving away that number of penalties. Our discipline has to improve.

"Some I didn't agree with, especially at the scrum, but some were certainly self-inflicted and there is no excuse for that.

"We should have had a penalty try in the first half when Plymouth gave away three penalties on their own line but then the fourth penalty went against us after they had had somebody sent to the sin-bin.

"That was a key point in the game and within 90 seconds we had conceded a try at the other end.

"Then two minutes before half-time we had Mark Atkinson sin-binned, which was absolutely justifiable, and we lost confidence and our momentum after that. Yet I had been pleased with our first-half performance."

Esher also had replacement prop James Gethings sin-binned at Plymouth. Esher's points came from two Atkinson penalties and a Shawn Renwick try while outside centre Charlie Walker impressed on his league debut.

Schmid refused to discuss the performance of Brickfields referee Ross Campbell but revealed he has arranged to meet referees' chief Steve Leyshon this week to discuss his concerns.

He said: "Obviously there were differences between our interpretation of the rules and the referees' so I'm going to have a chat with Steve to discuss the issues."

Schmid is struggling with a huge injury list with 13 seniors players sidelined but he insists Esher can still upset the odds against Bedford, impressive 28-26 winners at Nottingham in their Championship opener.

He said: "Bedford are a very good side and narrowly lost to Worcester in the Championship semi-finals last season so we know how difficult it's going to be.

"They retain the ball for long periods so it's up to us to defend well and then make sure we take our opportunities when they come because you will only get three or four against them.

"Our discipline has to be as good as it can be. We simply can't give away inexcusable or lazy penalties.

"We have got to go and play with our heart on our sleeves and if we keep our error count low and our discipline, then we can still be in the game at 60 minutes and then anything can happen."

But Schmid expects to be without the services Luke Wallace with the dual registered back row recalled to Harlequins after Tom Guest suffered a double fracture to his left arm in the Premiership win over London Irish.

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