9:00am Friday 10th January 2014
By Tim Ashton
Most coaches want players to put their heads together to beat the opposition, but Rosslyn Park’s Alex Codling is thinking otherwise.
While he is revelling in Saturday’s 28-6 win over Henley Hawks, which keeps Park second in National League One, Codling is sweating on the fitness of both of his influential centres ahead of this weekend’s tricky trip to Blaydon.
Henry Staff and Paul McKay clashed heads attempting to tackle the same Hawks player, and both had to leave the action after just 20 minutes. While neither were knocked out, the pair went to hospital after the game.
Added to the loss of skipper Hugo Ellis to illness on Friday, Codling was delighted with his team’s win. Henry and Paul went in for a challenge and clashed heads.
"Normally you take those kinds of injuries on the chin, but this is a little hard to take because we did it to ourselves. They are OK, but we have to be very careful with head injuries.
“We don’t know if they will be fit for the weekend.”
Defensive demons: Rosslyn Park hold up another Hawks attack Picture: David Whittam
He added: “Against Henley, Tom Cobb, a hooker, came on to fill on in the wing, and the fact we kept them scoreless for so long shows our character. He’s never played there before and to play the way he did I think it says everything about the team.”
Ellis should be available for this weekend, while Harry Broadbent returned from injury in the Hawks win.
Although Blaydon, based near Newcastle, are languishing in mid-table, they are only one of three teams to overturn leaders Doncaster Knights this season.
Codling said: “Blaydon will be a tough opponent, especially after the long trip north.
“But the lads have been superb for me this season, and we’ll go there high on confidence, while not under-estimating the opposition.
“We know what they are capable of. They beat the Knights and are unbeaten at home in seven games.”
He added: “But we are up for the challenge.”
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