It may be second-bottom against third-top this weekend, but Sheffield Tigers director of rugby Dan Richmond insists league positions mean little to him when he is surrounded by players chomping at the bit to perform.
The Tigers finally kick-started their SSE National League Two North season with their first win of the campaign against Luctonians last Saturday. The team went straight back to work in preparation for a challenging trip to Darlington Mowden Park, who have won seven of eight matches so far.
Richmond said: “I don’t care much for league positions, I care about squad development. The boys are so hungry to improve it’s unbelievable. I’ve never worked with a group this hungry. They’re enjoying the training and we get over 30 players to every session. The encouraging thing last Saturday was the desire to deliver a performance was fantastic.
“We’ve set some standards in previous games that we didn’t want to drop below. There are shirts up for grabs for every player.”
It proved to be a day to remember at Dore Moor last week as Peter Swatkins crossed twice alongside Michael Bradford and Tom Coates to give Tigers the 29-5 win. And Richmond will be after more of the same against Darlington Mowden Park as they look to make it two wins in a row.
“If we can execute our strategies and game plans it creates opportunities,” he added. “In previous weeks we’ve not converted these opportunities.
“Peter Swatkins is a fantastic talent and he’s drawing a lot of attention through his performances and rightly so. He’s a local lad and is committed to moving the club forward.
“Saturday was about doing the basics in tricky conditions and we got a reward. We came through the game injury free and for this week we’ll look at the areas that went well and put some polish on those.”
*SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 of SSE Energy Credits available for clubs to win. To find out how go to www.SSERugby.com