The Saskatchewan Roughriders are 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2013 but according to their head coach, penalties are keeping the club from being at its best.
The Riders took 20 penalties for 187 yards, which is just 14 fewer yards than they surrendered to the Ticats offence all night in a 30-8 win.
“They were frustrating,” said head coach Craig Dickenson via postgame videoconference. “The guys, they are going to hear about it. That’s too many and if we don’t play real good on both sides of the ball we are going to lose a game because of it.”
One series that caught Dickenson’s attention was in the second quarter when Hamilton had four cracks at the goal line from the one because of a pair of Saskatchewan penalties. The head coach said his team got away with one.
“We gotta clean that up. That’s the easy one, right? The refs know if your hands on the white paint or you’re across the white at all, it’s offsides so I’ll make a point of emphasizing that,” said Dickenson. “That’s a big play that could have bit us in the end if we didn’t end up playing better in the second half.”
The Riders are back at Mosaic Stadium this weekend for a matchup with the Ottawa Redblacks (1-0) and the penalty issue will be a focus for the Green and White heading into that game.
“We gotta do a better job, me specifically, on making sure we play within the rules and that we address some of that because that was a game that got a little bit chippy,” said Dickenson. “We were just not very good in terms of our technique or our decision-making in a lot of plays.”