Codling still not taking in the table as Rosslyn Park enter crucial stage of the season

Hanging on: Rosslyn Park’s Henry Staff under pressure in the narrow win at Loughborough Students      Picture: David Whittam

Hanging on: Rosslyn Park’s Henry Staff under pressure in the narrow win at Loughborough Students Picture: David Whittam

First published in Rosslyn Park by

Rosslyn Park beat a smart Loughborough Students side on their own sloping pitch by 18-17 last Saturday.

However, they slipped a further point behind the leaders Doncaster Knights, whose 24-19 home win over Blaydon included the vital four-try bonus point.

Park are now eight points behind Doncaster, but 14 points ahead of Coventry, who took up third place in National League One with an eye-opening 36-15 win at Fylde.

Doncaster have yet to visit either Park or Coventry, and the match between the two top clubs at Priory Lane on March 29 looks likely to go a long way towards deciding the destination of the title.

Park head coach, Alex Codling, famously does not look at league tables, instead he holds to the philosophy that if he can keep improving his players week on week then results and tables take care of themselves.

He said: "It is always pleasing to get a win on the road as they are never easy to come by.

"Whenever you have a weekend with no game, it is great in one sense to be able to recharge the batteries, but in a league such as this, it often means that it takes some time to get back into your stride and this was the case yesterday.

"It was far from the perfect performance and it will not be good enough against one of, if not the form team in the league in Tynedale who we face this Saturday.

"Nevertheless, we have shown over the 24 games that when we have the right intensity and accuracy we are a very tough side to beat."

This weekend’s visitors, Tynedale, looked likely to be relegated at Christmas but a superb run – including a 27-5 whipping of Esher last Saturday – has seen them pull eight points clear of the drop zone.

Park won 41-13 at their attractive ground on the banks of the Tyne, but will be anticipating a much harder match this week.

Despite the week off, injuries still forced Park to make changes last Saturday, but star flanker Harry Broadbent said that he expected to be fit to return, if selected, this Saturday.

Park also received a boost in their 29-17 midweek win over The Army with the return – on loan from Championship side Bedford Blues – of former free-scoring full-back / winger Nev Edwards.

But it speaks volumes for the strength of the squad at Codling’s disposal that Edwards is far from an automatic selection.

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