Rosslyn Park still unbeaten in rugby’s hardest league
Forget the Championship or the Aviva Premiership, the toughest league in rugby union is National League One, or so says Rosslyn Park head coach Alex Codling.
Despite his proclamation, Park are the only unbeaten team in the table following a 48-17 win over Worthing at the weekend.
The bonus point victory, coupled with a first defeat of the season for runaway leaders Doncaster Knights, mean Codling’s men are second in the table, three points behind the side relegated from the Championship last season.
A penalty try plus scores from Charlie Broughton (two), Hugo Ellis (two), Scott Sneddon, pictured below bagging his second try, and Sam Shires, as well as 13 points off Sneddon’s boot did for Worthing, ahead of Park’s trip to Fylde this weekend.
Codling said: “It was a tough game, so to win was pleasing and to get the all- important bonus point was very pleasing.
“Yes, the Knights lost, but we cannot think about them, we have to concentrate on our own game.
“There are areas that need improvement. Our execution of plays is sometimes a little off, and we need to learn to make the right decisions in certain situations.”
With only one team promoted out of National League One, the task of reaching the Championship is a tough one but Codling thrives upon the challenge.
“I have no doubt this is the toughest league in rugby union, and maybe in any sport, and there are two reasons for this,” he said.
“The level of rugby is very high, there are a lot of players who would not be out of place in the Championship, mixing it with players who work for a living, and then train in the evenings.
“Also, the commitment needed to be successful is massive because of the huge amount of travelling involved for the players.
“There are some long trips which can ruin whole weekend for players.
“Those factors make this a very difficult league to get out of.”
On the way: Jack Gash moves the ball out Picture: David Whittam
But Codling, who took over the coaching reins from Jan Bonney in the summer, has been more than impressed with the set-up at Park, and, saliently, the players’ spirit and commitment.
He added: “They are a great bunch of lads here, and we’re all working hard to ensure we maximise the time we have together.
“There is a very long way to go, but I am enjoying the challenge, it’s why we do it, it’s why we love rugby.”
Codling is without Will Bowley and Will Simpson for the trip to Fylde.
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