Esher might be at the summit of National Division One already, but director of rugby Mike Schmid admits it is going to take plenty of hard work to stay there.

The Molesey Road outfit opened their account for the season with a 36-20 triumph over Cinderford on Saturday to put them top of the table on points difference.

Schmid is wary that big spending rivals such as Rosslyn Park, Coventry, Ealing Trailfinders and Darlington Bowden Park will all be fighting it out for the one promotion spot tot he Championship this term.

That means his side can ill afford the complacency that plagued his side’s second half performance at the weekend.

Schmid, back in the hotseat after a two season break, would rather his men reproduce their efforts from the opening 40 minutes on a regular basis this term.

But he is only too aware that is going to be a big ask in a very competitive league.

“We were outstanding in the first half and were only a few loose passes away from scoring three or four more tries,” he said.

“We took our foot off the gas in the second half and made things hard for ourselves. We were just lazy, mentally and physically at times and got caught out.

“ It is going to be incredibly tough this year and it will be very competitive from top to bottom in this league.

“Newly promoted Darlington Bowden Park currently play in a 25,000 seater stadium and the other teams like Rosslyn Park and Coventry are spending more than they did last year.

“I think it is going to be a very tight battle between five or six teams.”

Tries from Harrison Collins and Ollie Richards put Esher 17-0 up at the break before further scores from Stuart Commins, Pete Synott and Cameron Gentles made the game safe in a disjointed, ill-disciplined second half showing.

Esher travel to Richmond – 35-22 winners at Macclesfield last week – this afternoon and Schmid’s knows his men will have to be at their best.

“We got lucky to win there early in the season last year and it is always a difficult place to go,” he added.

“There will be a big crowd and with all the history it is a fantastic ground to play at.”