SIMON SMITH: Delighted to be top of the table

SRUFC coach Simon Smith's column
SRUFC coach Simon Smith's column

Saturday’s win over Moortown was really pleasing as they’re a dangerous side.

We’ve started the season really well and to go to the top of the table is fantastic, but we need to keep our feet on the ground and remember that it’s a long season.

We have only played one of the top four sides, a defeat on the road at Cleckheaton, and our objective for the season remains to stay up.

There have been a lot of changes since last season, so to have started the season in such a positive fashion is great.

We have to remember that there’ll be tough games to come and we’ll need to maintain our performance levels to keep picking up results.

My target for staying up was 50 points, and we’re now on 21 points five games in.

We travel to West Hartlepool on Saturday for what I’m expecting to be another difficult proposition.

They may be struggling in the league after promotion, but they’re on home soil and will be desperate to pick up a win to establish themselves in this league in front of their supporters.

It’s always tough to get away wins at this level, especially when it is such a long journey and it’s never easy to travel to the North East and come away successful.

We’re without Tom Ratcliffe and Chris Purdy, however we have Jordan Holloway and Euan Govier back.

Phil Stewart is also unavailable so we’ll more than likely shift Henry Hocking to 10 as he has experience of playing there.

Phil Watson put in another good performance on Saturday and he continues to impress since returning to the club.

He’s such a big, physical presence both when carrying the ball and also when tackling, and he’s been a great addition back into the fold, along with Chris Purdy.

This level of rugby is new to both Phil and Chris, but they’re both incredibly fit and they’re adjusting very well to it.

We’re likely to be without Ben Martin until after Christmas due to the concussion protocols.

We could probably bring him back in earlier, but it’s incredibly important we’re patient with him and put his health first.