3:06pm Thursday 12th January 2012
By Graham Moody
Rosslyn Park’s new status as National League One leaders is to be put to the test straight away in a top-of-the-table clash with Jersey this Saturday.
A scintillating second-half performance saw Park score 33 unanswered points against Cambridge last weekend to give them a 43-17 win and take them to the top of the league – leapfrogging Jersey and Ealing Trailfinders.
It was their eighth successive victory but in Jersey this weekend they come up against a side that have won their last 12 and would be top bar a five-point penalty.
“They are just as much the form team in the league as we are,” said Park’s head coach Jan Bonney, who is set to be supported by more than 100 fans who are making the channel on Saturday.
“Without that penalty they would be four points clear at the top of the table and they are probably the top team in the league at the moment.
“So it should be a good game and the supporters and players are both looking forward to it and the trip.
“We have been getting a few more supporters down and it has been noticeable in that the players are noticing it, their support is fantastic and there is a good buzz around the club.
“It sounds all right when you say we are top of the league, if a bit unreal to be honest. Everybody is realistic, we are playing well but have another massive game on Saturday and we know if we lose we could easily go down to fourth.
“It’s really tight so, despite where we are, we are not getting carried away.”
Park conceded a try in the opening seconds against Cambridge and despite Steve Parsons try, they found themselves 17-10 down at half-time.
But they were simply unplayable after the break and tries from Nev Edwards, Miles Mantella, Dom Shabbo, Ben Gotting and another from Parsons saw them canter to victory.
“I was a bit worried how we would be having given the boys more than two weeks off over Christmas,” added Bonney.
“And in the first half it showed a little bit as we were a bit rusty.
“In the second half we really performed well and I was very pleased about that.”
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