THEY may have made it four wins in a row with victory over Dudley Kingswinford but Chester director of rugby Nic Corrigan admits he was left with plenty to ponder after questioning the desire of his players.
Chester travelled to the West Midlands knowing their opponents had yet to pick up a win this season and the visitors were duly 12-5 up at half-time thanks to tries from Richard Varkulis and Andrew Oakden.
But Corrigan was far from impressed with his side’s attitude against the league’s bottom side, especially with two yellow cards for John Mackenzie and Liam Gill.
Bringing on Ross White and Michael Craven after 50 minutes, he saw both get on the scoresheet, before further tries for William Nelson and Thomas Evans confirmed the 36-5 victory, although he was less than impressed.
“It’s no secret we rested players, they were on the bench and we had to go back to them and rely on them,” he said.
“I’m left with doubts as to how much we want it, is it that we are just happy to accept that we are going to be mid-table?
“I think it’s a work rate thing. The guys who started the game, can they show they can play at National 2 level? Only those that played can answer that one.
“We were 12-5 up at half-time with two yellow cards which is unacceptable from us. We failed to enforce the ruck area, that’s what was frustrating. We have got to be more disciplined.
“There are four teams above us in the league and on our day we can be better than them, but the small things we have to get better at.
“When we play to the way we can play we are dangerous, but for the best part of 50 minutes on Saturday we were not.”
Despite being under-par, the visitors were 12-0 up after 14 minutes courtesy of Varkulis and Oakden, although Rhys Hayes missed both conversions.
Dudley Kingswinford scored their only points of the game through Connah Jones’ 31st minute try with Mackenzie in the bin before Gill headed the same way on 39 minutes.
After the break, Chester finally stepped it up a gear, securing the bonus-point victory with Craven’s 68th-minute try before Nelson and Evans crossed in the final ten minutes.
And while disappointed with the performance, Corrigan knows his team, currently fifth in the league, will come back stronger from the experience.
“From a positive point of view we realised the importance of the bonus point which are important and worked for that,” he added.
“It was a great learning experience for us, we did not do enough to earn Dudley’s respect which was disappointing. It sets things up well for next week’s local derby against Caldy, where we will be looking for a performance.”
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