Coach Codling only has eyes for Rosslyn Park
1:00pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Rosslyn Park
By Jack Bradshaw
Rosslyn Park head coach Alex Codling insists he is not bothered what anyone else in SSE National League One is up to as long as his charges keep winning.
Park did not hit their straps on Saturday but returned from Blackheath with a hard-fought, but ultimately comfortable 21-8 victory to move up to third in the table having won six and drawn one of their opening seven league fixtures.
Despite the flying start, Park remain outsiders for a promotion push with Doncaster Knights extending their 100 per cent record following an impressive 32-3 win at home to fellow high fliers Loughborough Students.
And while Codling acknowledges Doncaster’s strength he is adamant his players need to ignore their rivals if they are to keep pace with the early season leaders.
Sam Shires scores Park’s first try
“We need to focus on ourselves, if you are worried about what other teams are doing you risk taking your eye off the ball,” he said.
“Doncaster are a fully professional side so they’d always be a different prospect in this division, we knew that at the start.
“But you can’t look too far ahead in challenging them as we have to look after ourselves and our own results every week.
“What people from the outside perceive as surprising results in the league – with teams near the bottom of the table beating those at the top – happen every week, including this weekend, so it shows that any fixture can go either way.”
Two tries from scrum half Jack Gash proved decisive against London rivals Blackheath on Saturday, while Park welcome Worthing this coming Saturday.
And while Gash was named man of the match, Codling believes it is his side’s resolute defence which has seen them concede just 94 points this season – the lowest in the league – which is fundamental to their strong start.
“The boys take a huge amount of pride in it, an enormous amount of work goes in to it,” he added.
Jack Gash scores for Park
“You could see until right at the end of the match against Blackheath they kept tackling their socks off. It’s all very much a work in progress but it’s something we’ve been very successful in so far.
“If I had to pick a standout so far this season it would be (flanker) Sam Shires. He epitomises the work ethic that goes into our group and he has an unbelievable hunger to be successful in the game, week in and week out.
“He’s also extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands and is a try-threat every game. It’s a whole team effort but Sam has probably stuck his head over the parapet that little bit more than the rest.”
Charge: Hugo Ellis maraudes down the wing
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