DARLINGTON Mowden Park have no intention of compromising their attacking instincts as they enter the back half of the National Two North promotion race.
Saturday’s 40-10 hammering of Birmingham-Solihull saw Mowden staying true to their expansive mantra as they flung the ball wide at every opportunity, offloading in contact and sapping the energy of their visitors with a relentless stream of quickly-tapped penalties.
Co-coach Danny Brown is not complaining, though, with an exciting young line-up giving a fine account of themselves less than a year after romping to the National Three North title.
“We want to play rugby, simple as that, and even in pretty tough conditions I thought we coped OK and moved the ball around quite well,” said Brown, the former prop-forward who has joined forces with ex-scrum-half John Newton in the coaching ranks.
“Some people on the outside might say we are not coaching specific skills or things like that, purely because all the training we do is with the ball in hand and on a rugby pitch.
“We do a lot of game work, and the point of that is the lads get used to playing with one another, used to playing with width and used to chucking the ball around.
“There is no way on earth we as a coaching team are going to try and stop these boys from playing their natural game and bringing in ten-man rugby.
“When the conditions dictate it you have to have a few things up your sleeve and tweak what you are doing, which we have the ability to do, but we are adamant we will stick to our philosophy of open attacking rugby.”
There was plenty on show in their last outing, the 30-point margin coming despite a creditable effort from a visiting side toiling away at the wrong end of the table.
Brown said: “Their league position might not reflect it, but Birmingham-Solihull are a good side and have given us tough games both of the times we have played them this season.
“I was just saying to their coach on the final whistle I can’t understand why they are where they are in the table.
“However, in terms of our own performance we had the same style we have shown all season.”
Darlington Mowden Park sit in third place in National Two North, four points behind a Hull Ionians side they are still to play twice.
Brown added: “One team goes up automatically, which realistically will be Stourbridge who are unbeaten and way out in front.
“Second place goes into a play-off with National Two South’s runners-up, but all we have said for this season is a top-half finish is what we want following last year’s promotion.
“We have kind of exceeded that at the moment, but we know fine well there are tough games to come.”
For all of their on-field exploits, much attention around Mowden this season centres on their imminent move to the town’s arena, with the visit of Bromsgrove on February 2 pencilled in as their first game inside the 20,000-capacity venue.
Their long-time Yiewsley Drive ground was packed to the rafters on Saturday for what should be their penultimate league game there, but for Brown the opportunity to move into their new home is just the latest exciting chapter in a rapidly-unfolding story.
He said: “This club has been at its current ground for a long time.
“It has been our home, all the lads love playing here and we get plenty of support.
“All of that is true, but it is going to wreck and ruin. It is not fit for what we need when you consider we run 20 teams.”