Scunthorpe rugby union coach happy with start to season but no latest heavy defeat
Coach Tim Robinson insists he is happy with Scunthorpe RUFC's efforts during their first four games of the season.
The Greens have picked up two wins and two bonus points so far in National Three Midlands – matching their best-ever points tally at this stage of the campaign in their three years back at Level Five.
But hopes of a third successive home victory failed to materialise during a 64-10 humbling by South Leicester last weekend.
Robinson was disappointed with the way Scunthorpe were overpowered up front against a side with a notoriously strong pack.
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But given they have already toppled two of last season's top five – Mansfield and Longton – as well as losing at Nuneaton, a side in National Two last term, the Greens coach will not come down too heavily on his team.
"I'm pretty happy with the start to the season we've had when you see the fixtures," he said.
"We had to get something out of the Mansfield game because Nuneaton had come down, and we knew they are going to be strong, and Longton and South Leicester are always up there.
"If you'd have said, by this stage, we'd have had two wins and two losses, I'd probably have taken that.
"Ten points is a decent return from the games we've had, without a doubt.
"In relation to last year, this is more points than we had on the board.
"I'm pretty pleased with where we're at. Obviously the points difference is something we need to address, but hopefully we can tighten up and not concede as many this weekend."
Although admitting they were 'overpowered' last Saturday, the Scunthorpe coach refuses to be critical of his forwards.
As well as being short defensively against South Leicester, no-one from the front, second or back row has scored a try this term – an unusual occurrence given the Greens' style of play.
Robinson, who used six of his eight interchanges on the forwards to try to combat South Leicester's strength, says one reason behind that is the decision to change several of their playing structures during the summer.
"One of the new structures we're playing to, although it moves the ball wider it means we're playing in channels across the pitch," he explained.
"It's all dependant who are the receivers in that and who are the runners.
"Where we have created space this season, the receivers have taken it to carry the ball themselves and got over the whitewash, but the forwards have played a supporting role in that.
"It's one of those things, on Saturday we got overpowered pretty much up front – that's something we must address.
"But I'm sure when the wetter days come the forwards will get on the scoresheet."
While they may, on the whole, be adapting to life in the National League structure, consistency continues to elude the Greens, frustratingly so for their coach.
"We've been trying to look for consistency for the past couple of seasons," Robinson added.
"You've got to do the best you can with your home games and try to pick up a few wins, or at least some bonus points, away.
"To do that you have to have a consistency of performance.
"Otherwise, the league is so strong, if you have a dip in form like we did on Saturday, you pay for it unfortunately.
"Against South Leicester we played very poor compared with the standards we had set in the previous three weeks and we played against a very good team.
"That was a recipe for disaster."