Buzzing Park are keeping tabs on the Knights
Head coach Alex Codling believes it took a special rearguard performance to fend off Fylde as Rosslyn Park boosted their promotion hopes with a gritty 16-7 victory.
Though two of the highest point-scoring sides in National League One, the clash at Priory Lane was anything but gung-ho apart from an early flourish in the first half.
Fly-half Scott Sneddon pushed a penalty between the posts to open the scoring on 10 minutes but within 60 seconds the Lancastrians crossed for a converted try through Warren Spragg.
Park wasted little time with their own response as Sneddon jinked his way through a gap to dot down before adding the extras himself.
It was to be the last scoring action of the first half as blustery conditions took affect, before Park’s number 10 stepped up again to make sure of the points with two penalties midway through the second half.
And while not a flawless performance, Codling believes this time his side came to the fore defensively after a chastening defeat to Fylde earlier in the season.
“They are an outstanding attacking team and they have got threats all over the field,” he said.
“The weather conditions were very tough but the set piece and the defence was outstanding.
“They score a hell of a lot of points and we knew it was going to be a tough game. We are 23 games in and the work ethic of the boys was incredible.
“We gave the ball away too often, particularly in the first half when we were against the wind. In the second half we made a couple of really promising breaks but turned the ball over and it put us under pressure.
“The boys were buzzing afterwards because they beat us earlier in the season.
“He (Sneddon) has done really well for us this year. He controls things really well at ten and he has got a really good kicking game, which came to the fore on Saturday.
“We have only lost four this season. We could have won all of them but the Fylde game was probably the one that got away from us, so that is why it was important to bounce back on Saturday.”
Though Doncaster Knights are flying high at the top of National One, following seven points behind, Park are still in with a shout of catching up with seven games to go.
A match-up against the Knights on March 29 could be a date of destiny but with a free weekend next up, Codling intends to let his players recharge before the run-in.
“We have a weekend off now and the timing is really good for us,” added Codling. “It is just a case of trying to re-energise.
“The level of physicality and dedication the boys give is massive, so I am always very conscious of giving them some downtime.”
SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to www.SSERugby.com