Rosslyn Park withstood a stern second half challenge to secure a 17-12 away win at Wharfedale last Saturday.

The sloping pitch had only been passed as fit to play the previous day, despite much snow in the Yorkshire dales. Park arrived to find a near gale blowing from side to side.

Three tries while playing uphill in the first half saw Park go into the interval at 17-12, but they were unable to add to that tally in the second half.

Head coach Alex Codling was broadly satisfied with a result that saw Park close the gap to first and second sides Ealing and Coventry to four and two points respectively.

He said: “Wharfedale is always a tough place to go, even more so with tough overhead and underfoot conditions, so to get the win was pleasing .

“Having got three tries in the first we should have had the try bonus point with the opportunities we had in their red zone.

“Credit to Wharefdale they had a real go in the second half but I thought our defence was outstanding.

“It was great to see Harry Rowland back on the field after 12 months of working incredibly hard to come back from injury”.

The return of the popular Rowland, who has captained the club at every level from mini to 1st XV, gives Codling the sort of selection problem he likes for the visit of Cinderford this Saturday.

He competes for the three back row places with Hugo Ellis, Mike Macfarlane and Sam Shires.

This week’s opponents from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire may be threatened with relegation, but Codling will be treating them with the utmost respect.

Park won 19-17 at Dockham Road earlier in the season, having to survive a last gasp penalty to bring home the bacon.

If that was not enough to sound alarm bells, the Foresters recently produced a sensation by humbling runaway league leaders Ealing.

Cinderford always pose a stern physical challenge. Fighting for survival, they are expected to pose the sternest possible test for Park’s own aspirations. Kick off is at 3pm.