It has got to the point where Sheffield RUFC “need” to win, according to the club’s director of rugby Ben Wade.
Wade watched his side fall to their eighth defeat in nine outings at the weekend, as they lost to fellow relegation rivals Middlesbrough and slipped to the bottom of the North 1 East League table.
But the performance was much improved from the one against Wheatley Hills the week before, and Wade believes his side did not get the rub of the green in key situations.
Sheffield led the game 7-5 with 15 minutes to go but eventually succumbedto a 23-12 defeat.
Nevertheless, Wade was buoyed by the improvement in his team’s performance and said: “The forwards were fantastic. We did well at the set pieces and we dominated at the scrum. We just didn’t get the rub of the green.
“There were a couple of decisions that didn’t go our way, and a couple of errors on our part, and we have gone from 7-5 up with 15 minutes remaining, to finding ourselves on the end of a 23-12 defeat.”
Sheffield return to Abbeydale Park this weekend for the visit of West Hartlepool who, after an unbeaten start to the season, have slipped to fifth in the table after three defeats in their last five games – all of which have come away from home.
Wade admits he is ‘nervous’ ahead of the fixture, but insists if his players continue to believe, then their fortunes will change sooner rather than later.
“We take every game seriously, but I am nervous for this week because it has got to that point now where we have to win – especially with being at home,” he said.
“We have got to keep believing and, even though we are at an amateur level, we still go through the heartache after a defeat.
“No team likes being bottom of the league, but the day will come when it clicks. We have to remember we are only two wins away from mid-table.”
Meanwhile, Dan Richmond, Wade’s opposite number at Sheffield Tigers, and captain David Bradford have demanded that the side produce a dramatically improved performance when they face fellow strugglers Hull this weekend in the National 2 North League.
After beating Luctonians the previous week, Tigers were on the end of a heavy 51-3 defeat away at Darlington Mowden Park as two players were sin binned within ten minutes of each other.
Richmond’s side now face a run of six games which he says will “shape their season” and admitted he was left disappointed and frustrated at some of the individual performances at the weekend.
“Our season starts now. We are facing teams that are around us in the table and the next games are special,” Richmond said. “Four point wins are eight points difference for us because we would be taking points away from the teams that are around us.
“There was a lot of hurt after the Darlington game and the captain has demanded a response against Hull.”