Sheffield Tigers head coach Dan Richmond insists the application and fight shown by his players to return with a losing bonus point from Chester is a positive sign at this stage of the season.
The Tigers suffered a 20-13 defeat away to Chester at the weekend but left Hare Lane with a point thanks to a 78th-minute try from Thomas Coates and they sit 14th in the SSE National League 2 North table.
With their previous three games having come against promotion-chasing opposition in Macclesfield, Sedgley Park and Chester, a return of six points has given Richmond much to smile about.
And with plenty of positives to take into training Richmond is urging his side to perform against some of the league’s weaker sides.
“Away from home it is crucial your basics are up to scratch to allow you to play in the right areas of the field,” he said. “Credit to Chester for not allowing us to do that and it was a good, hard contest in the first 40 minutes and we had to make some adjustments at half-time to come out and put ourselves in a position to win the game with 20 minutes to go.
“It was a blow to lose one of our front-rowers Ross Davies so early in the match to a head injury but there was just one score in it.
“But it went away from us and I was pleased with the fight the players showed to get a losing bonus point. That makes it six points from the last three matches which have been against first, fourth and fifth in the league.
“When you play the top four or five teams you have to be accurate and make sure that your basics are up to scratch.”
Thomas Evans, Peter Rees, Guy Ford and William Nelson all crossed for Chester who never relinquished the lead after initially going behind to a Thomas Outram penalty.
David Price’s try had the Tigers within a converted score of their opponents with an hour gone but Chester proved too strong to close out the win.