Spalding player-coach Harry Sharman wants his team-mates to “stand up and be counted” in the last two months of the season.
In the aftermath of a 43-14 win for the Elephants over Daventry at Memorial Field on Saturday, Sharman spoke of his expectations for “a lot more commitment” from his players ahead of their next Midlands Three East (South) match at Rushden & Higham on Saturday.
Spalding ran in seven tries last weekend, just a week after crossing over 13 times in a 75-0 demolition of Queens, also at Memorial Field.
Sharman said: “We’ve had a couple of easier games, beating two lesser sides with a weak side ourselves.
“It was another good victory on Saturday, but credit to Daventry who were a very strong, physical.
“We started the game fairly strong and scored four tries in the first 20 minutes.
“But Daventry came back and scored a try, although they were unlucky not to score a few more.
“Our game plan came off really well and we managed to hold their attacks off before going on to score fairly freely again.
“Daventry never gave up but our boys put on a good show and I can’t really fault the effort of the players.
“But we’re missing key boys in key positions and it would be nice to have all those players available.
“I’m expecting a lot more commitment from the lads and if we’re going to challenge in the league then we need our best side out every week.
“With the Midlands Senior Vase final coming up as well, I need our lads to stand up and be counted.”
Spalding are due to meet Dunstablians, who are the same division, in the final on March 14.
But before that are three winnable games starting at Rushden & Higham, followed by visits to Memorial Field from bottom side St Neots and one-time league leaders Stockwell Park.
Sharman said: “Rushden & Higham are a place below us in the league and on our day we’re good enough to beat anyone.
“But if we let a side get ahead of us, it’s very difficult to come back.”
Centre Willis Ingleby and prop Pete Waudby are both doubtful for Saturday, although winger Matty Holmes should be fit to try and add to his two touchdowns against Daventry.
“Matty decided to come and play rugby about a year ago and he’s been in and out of the first time since then,” Sharman said.
“But in the last few weeks he’s been very impressive and it’s good to have him in the team.
“Matty is one for the future, he trains hard, he’s learning all the time and he’s a very coachable player who’s getting better by the week.
“We’ve also got Will Shields back in the side after
Meanwhile, Bourne return to league action on Saturday after a two-week break with a chance to regain top spot if they can beat leaders Oakham at Rutland Showground.
Andrew Brown’s are just three points behind the Oaks having won one game fewer (11) than their opponents.
After their 52-13 win at home to Northampton BBOB last time out, Brown said: “We made hard work of the first half but we created plenty of half-chances and on another day we’ll turn more of those into points on the board.
“We opened up in the second half and were far more clinical in both creating and taking our opportunities.
“Our defence against Huntingdon was very good for 80 minutes and we attacked well in the second half.
“But we know that to beat Oakham we’ll need to be at our best in all areas of the game for its entirety.”
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