Whites aim to bounce back in derby No. 2
SWANSEA head coach Mefin Davies admits his side are a work in progress but has vowed they will be determined to get off the mark for the season against Aberavon on Saturday.
The Whites began their Principality Premiership campaign with a 23-9 defeat at Neath last weekend, which was Davies's first game in charge.
While the scoreline may have been a little harsh on Swansea, who wasted a number of scoring opportunities, the game at The Gnoll taught their young players some valuable lessons.
And with Aberavon at St Helen's offering the Whites a second derby date in a week, Davies reckons his side will be keen to make up for their opening-day disappointment.
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"We'll be looking to bounce back against Aberavon," said the former Wales hooker.
"We'll learn a lot from last weekend. The Neath game was a good benchmark to show us where we are, and there were plenty of positives.
"The important thing for us to realise as a team is that there were a lot of good things about that performance. We were frustrated to miss some opportunities but we're realistic about where we are at the moment."
Swansea underwent a host of changes over the summer, and they included nine new players in the squad to face Neath following the departures of players such as Richard Kelly, Rhodri Wells and James Dixon.
With a number of new faces playing with each other for the first time, it was evident it may take some time for the current Whites side to gel.
"We've made a lot of changes over the summer and we've got areas to work on, as any team does," said Davies. "We need to improve in terms of decision-making. We had a few good scoring chances against Neath and didn't quite take them, so there's plenty to learn."
This season will also be a steep learning curve for Davies himself, as the Swansea job is his first as a head coach.
The former Neath front-rower has been a part of the Ospreys' coaching set-up in recent years, juggling off-field duties with his playing career.
He is not listed as a player-coach at St Helen's but the mere mention of getting on the pitch brings a smile to Davies's face.
"I just want to play really," he smiled. "It's been good so far. I'm very fortunate to be here and I'm enjoying the coaching.
"I'm learning all the time and I have a good team of coaches around me. We all want the same thing, so hopefully we can really push the club forward."