Chester RUFC head coach Jan van Deventer believes that his side’s performance in Saturday’s narrow loss at Sale shows the strides his team are making.
The Hare Lane outfit became the first team this season to put four tries on the board against the National League Two North leaders, going down 30-28, with Alick Croft (2), Ross White and Craig Ross crossing the whitewash with James Robins kicking over the extras on each occasion.
And it was a game that van Deventer believes his side could have won after dominating the contest for long periods.
“Even though we lost I was so delighted with the guys and how they went about their business and how they competed. They were excellent,” said van Deventer.
“The teams at the top of this league are far ahead of the rest but we showed the strides that we have been making as a group.
“We held them out for most of the game and we made things really tough for them and you could tell that they weren’t together as a unit on the pitch and there was a lot of infighting going on and we tried to take advantage of that as best we can.
“They are a strong side and they are top of the league for a reason but I am delighted with how we went about things and how we asked questions of them and went toe to toe with them. We will certainly be the happier of the two teams heading into training this weekend.
Chester, who sit seventh in the table, have been in excellent form since the turn of the year, winning seven of their 11 games in 2018.
And the performance of his side at Sale was another benchmark for van Deventer and his team.
“The Sale game showed how far we have come,” said the Chester head coach, whose side host South Leicester at Hare Lane on Saturday (3pm).
“With how things have been going since Christmas we really don’t want the season to end as the guys are all flying at the moment and we have some real momentum.
“We have another tough game this weekend but we will be heading into it full of confidence. Winning is a habit and it is a habit we don’t want to kick. We want the strongest finish possible to this season.”
As well as their success in the red of Chester, some of the club’s youngsters have been catching the eye elsewhere.
Harry Craven and Harry Wilkinson have both been selected for the North of England under 18s) while Liam Aldridge and Josh Morris made the final 12 of the North of England squad.
And first-teamer Robins has been invited to spend some time training with Aviva Premiership Rugby side Sale Jets.
Chester 3rds were in rampant mood in their Halbro North West Leagues Division Two South encounter with Winnington Park 2nds, claiming a resounding 76-0 home success.