Defiant defence pleases Codling as Rosslyn Park keep up the pressure at the top

Rosslyn Park 31-10 Hartpury College

Head coach Alex Codling praised Rosslyn Park’s defensive solidity as they beat a dogged Hartpury College side on Saturday.

Scrum-half Jack Gash scored two tries and captain Hugo Ellis, Nev Edwards, and Lou Grimoldby also crossed to secure an important bonus point which keeps Park four points adrift of league leaders Ealing Trailfinders, who they will meet at home in a heavyweight clash on December 13.

And Codling was extremely pleased with his team’s resilience and the performance of Gash.

He said: “Defensively we were tested, particularly in the first 20 minutes, and the first 20 minutes of the second half were very tight.

“They kept the ball well but we rode the storm and on either side of those periods we got five tries. The effort of the boys was exceptional.

“Jack is a great communicator and ball in hand he is a real threat. Once again he was key to our success.”

Rosslyn Park’s next fixture is at home to Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday.

The two sides will meet for the first time since Rosslyn Park’s shock fourth round defeat to Darlington in the Tetley’s Bitter Cup in 2000.

However, Codling is not thinking about that.

He said: “We never factor in what the opposition do, week in week out, that has no material impact.

“We just prepare every game week by week.”

Park’s professional attitude was reflected on the pitch on Saturday with Codling acknowledging they were more clinical than their stubborn opponents and proved a more persistent threat with ball in hand.

Full-back Edwards’ try after a powerful, surging run from winger Joe Ajuwa proved to be the killer blow.

“Once we had our chance to get into the red zone we took it and that effectively finished the game,” added Codling.

“I was delighted with the way the game ended.”

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