Ellis: Defeat is not the end of Rosslyn Park’s season

Lots to play for: Hugo Ellis takes on the Richmond defence earlier this season, and he is ready for the final push, despite defeat last weekend at home to Blackheath

Lots to play for: Hugo Ellis takes on the Richmond defence earlier this season, and he is ready for the final push, despite defeat last weekend at home to Blackheath

First published in Sport Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Rosslyn Park captain Hugo Ellis is adamant the race out of National League One is not over, despite last weekend’s 12-15 defeat at home to relegation-threatened Blackheath.

Only one team are promoted into the Championship, and Park are now seven points off leaders Doncaster Knights.

However, Park have lost just four times in 21 games this season, including just one at home, and Doncaster are yet to visit Priory Lane (March 29).

It is this form that Ellis, the former Wasps and Newport Gwent number eight, believes will see the title race go to the wire.

He said: “Yes, we lost to Blackheath but I don’t think we need to start panicking by making drastic tactical changes, we’ve been outstanding for 20 games this season, but we have been poor here and we got the result we deserved really.

“Doncaster have still got to come and play here, there’s still nine games to go and plenty to play for.

“They are going to drop points between now and the end of the season so we have got to move on, get our heads together for Worthing next week and try to get back to winning ways.”

Charles Broughton and Scott Sneddon’s conversion of a penalty try were the sole fruits of Park’s disappointing endeavours on Saturday, something Ellis was quick to recognise.

“In this league results like that can happen if you don't turn up,” he said.

“We had a brilliant result last week at Wharfedale beating them by 40-odd points but we just weren’t at the races for long periods.

“Fair play to Blackheath they played well and came away with a win.

“There was one stage where we went 12-5 up and usually we would be putting those kind of games to bed but we made too many individual mistakes, too many individual errors as a team and coughed up far too many penalties.”

Head coach Alex Codling said: “It was always going to be tough to back up the immense performance last week at Wharfedale, and we never reached anywhere near those levels.

“The one positive was once again the scrum, which has been immense all season. The boys have been fantastic this season and will look to bounce back at Worthing on Saturday.”

Park will be keeping fingers crossed that Ed Lewis-Pratt’s injury is not too serious and that he and Sam Shires will be fit for this weekend’s visit to Worthing Raiders.

However, one flanker who will definitely not make it is Harry Rowland, who is currently on crutches following a leg operation.

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