To reman top of South West Premier will be a 'challenge' says Richardson

Head coach Jon Richardson has led Hornets to 13 wins from 13 games.

Head coach Jon Richardson has led Hornets to 13 wins from 13 games in all competitions this season. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Head coach Jon Richardson says Hornets have a “challenge” to remain top of the South West Premier ahead of travelling to Devon to take on Exmouth this Saturday.

The Nest based side made it 13 wins from 13 in all competitions last weekend against Exeter University to move top of the table.

But Richardson says all their focus is on themselves as they travel into uncharted territory at the Cockles.

“We really don’t know anything about Exmouth, it’s into the unknown again,” said Richardson.

“All we can do is concentrate on our game and how we play. If that needs to change during the match we trust our players to make the right decisions. 

“They have the ability to adapt when needed and it’s up to them to get that right.

“We can only go on past results and although they’ve had some really good results this season but they were beaten convincingly at home this weekend (by Weston in a 31-0 defeat). 

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“Having said that you never know what sort of team a club has out from week to week so we won’t look too hard in to that result.”

Last weekend’s match pitted the top two sides, where the pair had come into the contest with 100 per cent starts, in the South West Premier.

The hosts started superbly by taking a 15-0 lead with Hayden Tuttiett, Matt Parker and Charlie Carter all going over.

However, the table leaders at the time hit back and came from behind to lead 17-15 before Ross Cheeseborough restored Hornets lead and earned them the bonus point win.

“Saturday was first and foremost an amazing game of rugby,” Richardson added.

“A very fitting match for the occasion, the club was packed to the rafters, two unbeaten sides going head to head in a thrilling game what more could people want. 

“The quality of rugby was like nothing seen before at the Nest and to come from behind after being in total control for the first half an hour just added to the experience. 

“It was a privilege to be there and the players should be applauded for what they were prepared to put themselves through for each other and the club.”

The result against the students now sees Hornets lead the division for the first time this season.

But Richardson has warned his side not to take their foot of the pedal and keep their momentum going.

He said: “It’s certainly not where we expected to be but we’ll take it.

“The challenge of course now is staying there, this is such a tough and competitive league that things can change very quickly if you get complacent.”