Tougher tests ahead for Sutton & Epsom, says head coach

Change of tack brings back winning feeling

Injured in action: Andy Nicholls, right, will miss the trip to Camberley this weekend

Jeff Parsons: delighted with his team's start to the season, but he knows there are tough tests to come

First published in Rugby Union Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Sutton & Epsom head coach Jeff Parsons has warned there are tougher tests ahead for his men after securing back-to-back wins to kick-off the London Division Two South West season.

Saturday’s comprehensive 46-14 win at Guildford, on the back of an opening day beating of Effingham & Leatherhead, has Sutton sitting third in the table.

It is a world away from last season where the disappointment of relegation from London One South was compounded by not registering a single win, and coach Jeff Parsons is pleased to get that monkey off their backs.

He said: “Confidence is returning to the team and the club, which is important considering what happened last year.

“We’ve been encouraged by the start we have made especially the way in which the new faces and the youngsters have been working together.

“We took a big decision over the summer to change the way we play, the tactic calls and patterns.

“We thought it would take some time to work and that we’d be grinding out a few wins, but we’re doing extra training and the boys have worked really hard to get it right.

“We’re not deluding ourselves, there are some tough games to come with the likes of Teddington and Tottonians, but it is certainly good to feel what it is like to win again.”

Sutton travel to bottom-of-the-table Camberley this weekend and Parsons is hoping the harsh lessons learnt from last season’s debacle will remind the players of their responsibilities.

He said: “I hope for the players’ sake that after last year they do not take anything for granted. We should have won some games last year but sometimes a few of the players went missing in matches, we cannot afford for that to happen.”

Andy Nicholls definitely misses the weekend  trip, while Brendan Kipping, Pete Matthews and Ian Knott remain doubtful.

On the performance against Guildford, Parsons said: “We were expecting a much tougher game. Guildford had a good win the weekend before last and they are a tough side, but in the end it was comfortable.

“We should have won our first game by a larger margin, maybe even 20 points. We didn’t take all our opportunities we were given, which maybe a hangover from last year. But the guys are working so hard in training to put those little things right and against Guildford it all paid off.”

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