Rosslyn Park's Ellis is loving the intensity, but needs the bonus points
Rosslyn Park back row Hugo Ellis has revealed that life under coach Alex Codling is an intense affair – but the rewards are there for all to see.
Ellis set up one of three Park tries in Park’s 21-8 win at Blackheath on Saturday, lifting them to third in the National League One table.
Jack Gash bagged a brace, Sam Shires went over and Scott Sneddon kicked six points as Park made it six wins out of seven – the only anomaly being a 6-6 draw at Henley.
Despite the impressive start, Park will have their work cut out to secure the solitary promotion spot.
Doncaster Knights, relegated from the Championship last season, hold top place with a 100 per cent points haul of 35 out of 35, while Park are seven points adrift.
Ellis said: “We’ve shown good form so far, but we’ve let a few bonus points slip. Saturday was the third game where we have scored three rather than four tries.
“When you look at Doncaster’s form, those dropped points are costing us.”
He added: “A lot will ride on the games between us and Doncaster, and whether they can keep up their form.
“But in truth, we cannot worry about what anyone else is doing in the league, we have to concentrate on ourselves.”
Coach Codling took over the reins from Jan Bonney during the summer, and he has impressed Ellis with his preparation for games.
It is an approach that has seen Park’s defence become the meanest in the league – conceding only 94 points in seven games.
Ellis, who has 28 tries in 31 Park games to his name, said: “Alex is extremely intense about his rugby. We certainly could not be any more prepared for games with the amount of analysis of the opposition that he does.
“He makes sure everyone is clued into their individual roles, and he demands very high standards of players and we have seen the benefit of that, especially in defence.”
He added: “He is very whole-hearted. He shouts and screams from the touchline – if any of the players are putting in anything less than 100 per cent, he lets them know about it.”
Park host struggling Worthing this weekend, with Ellis wary of a possible banana skin.
“There are no easy games in this league and on their day any team can turn over any other team, so we won’t be taking Worthing for granted,” he said.
Kick off at Priory Lane is 3pm.
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