By their head coach’s own admission, Rosslyn Park would have taken a place in National League 1’s top six this season.
So imagine how pleasant it must be to Kieran Power to see his side sitting third and in the midst of a pulsating title race following a four-match winning run.
Just eight points separate the top four ahead of the visit of sixth-placed Chinnor to The Rock on Saturday, and Power believes the Roehampton-club really do have the resources to earn promotion to the Championship.
“It’s a realistic goal for the club with the right infrastructure – new gym, new strength and conditioning, new coaching department and a new recruitment policy,” he said.
“It’s paying dividends on the pitch. No one expected it to go this well but it’s gelled quickly and we’ve got a tight-knit bunch that want to push.”
A crunch fixture with promotion rivals Ampthill, who sit second, awaits at the end of March but Power is keen to focus on the here and now and not get too carried away.
“It’s an unpredictable league and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” Power said.
“If you’re not on your game, other teams will step up and take victories away from you but we want to keep pushing and put that pressure on.
“There are some fixtures that might dictate what happens but I’ve been in this league long enough to know that something else is going to happen.”
First up is the game against Chinnor, and Power is hopeful lessons have been learned from the reverse fixture that ended 33-33 in November.
“Ideally we want to be able to control the field position a little bit more than we did up at their place,” he said.
“We want to keep on a roll now with the run we have been on.
“We’ve just had two away games on the trot and we’re back home at The Rock so we want to put in a full 80-minute performance this weekend.”
Power admits he expects another high-scoring affair and an entertaining contest, but reckons his players will need to be mindful of Chinnor’s threat after holding off a spirited second-half display by Birmingham Moseley in last weekend’s 45-27 victory.
Park dominated the first half but were guilty of relaxing after the break.
“There was a big focus on us starting well and taking control of the game and we did that,” Power said.
“We had a 20-minute blitz where we scored three or four tries in quick succession. In the second half Moseley had nothing to lose and went for it.
“They played some really good stuff so fair play to them for coming back into the game.”