Byron wants Sheffield to keep their title drive going after vital victory over rivals

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Currently Sheffield RUFC are riding high at the top of North One East - and head coach Adam Byron is hoping the side will keep momentum going after a vital 17-10 victory against second placed Percy Park at home last weekend.

The solid win was on the back of six consecutive victories, which now gives them a six point cushion at the top of the table on 54 points after thirteen games.

Bryon, aged 33, took many positives from the result - especially the defensive line. But he has stressed that the Sheffield side must keep more possession of the ball in their next match, at home against fourth-placed Rochdale.

“We had to be very patient against Percy Park because they had a lot more possession than us,” Byron, the director of rugby at Birkdale School, said.

“However we were incredible in defence and made them make mistakes or turned over the ball at vital points in the match.

“I thought our build up play for our tries was fantastic and it was great to get three on the board against a quality team like Percy Park.

“However, our next opponents will be very tough as they are a very physical team and we don’t know who we will be facing on the day because they have recruited a lot of old faces and some new players since our last meeting. We can’t be complacent and we certainly cannot give them as much possession as we gave to Percy Park. This means our decision making on the ball needs to improve and we’ll be working on that this week.”

Backs Joe McHale, Leigh Sanders and Rupert Broadley all slid over for tries to secure the victory, but Sheffield were given a scare in the last five minutes when Percy Park pulled a try back.

“Even with their late score I was always confident that we would get the victory,” said the former backs coach at the Abbeydale Park club.

“On the day we were the better side and successfully soaked up their pressure. They were too late with their comeback and I’m very proud of the result in what was our toughest game so far.”

Sheffield have racked up an impressive 11 league wins this season, but Byron does not want the team to get carried away with their success and believes many teams will be competing for the top spot in the second half of the season.

The coach, who was appointed last December, has also highlighted the January 3 game - away at current sixth placed Ilkley - as a difficult test as they have performed well at home this season.

“Of course it’s brilliant to be at the top at Christmas with hopefully a good cushion but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves because there is a lot more rugby to be played,” said the former Sheffield RUFC fly-half.

“This is a very difficult league this season and that’s why you can’t afford to slip up in any game. We can’t take our foot off the pedal over the break because that could put the title at risk.

“We have to be careful in our game just after New Year because we don’t have a lot of time to prepare and having the break may affect the players. However I will be stressing the importance of keeping momentum going over into 2015 because this team is certainly capable of winning the league.”

The Totley resident, who has been part of the club since he was 12 years old, is targeting National league rugby in the future and is confident the strength and depth in the club will enable this.

“We have done so well this year because even when we have a lot of injuries there are brilliant players ready and willing to step up,” Bryon said.

“At the moment we have nine first team players out but amazing players who have come through the junior section at the club and are filling in and performing fantastically.

“We can field three or four very strong teams which sets us apart from other clubs, and I believe this strength and depth will help us move up divisions.

“We want to be a club that people aspire to play for in the area and it is very exciting times for the club at the moment because we really are playing some fantastic rugby – we just need to keep this going in 2015!”