11:31am Thursday 19th December 2013
DARLINGTON Mowden Park might be the form team in SSE National League Two North, but head coach John Newton has warned his side to not get ahead of themselves just yet.
Saturday saw Mowden at their devastating best, as they ran in eight tries to shut out Luctonians 54-0 at The Northern Echo Arena.
It meant a fifth win in a row for Newton’s men and with just two losses to their name so far – both coming on the road – DMP are guaranteed to be in the promotion mix in the New Year as they sit second in the table.
However, before they leave 2013 behind they host Hull on Saturday, a side who find themselves battling it out at the other end of the table.
And Newton is urging his troops to deliver one final push before 2013 is out, so he can enjoy his Christmas dinner that little bit more.
“We play Hull on Saturday and hopefully we can get a win before Christmas so we can enjoy the festive period,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see how it goes in the New Year and I am not about to get carried away or let any of my players do the same.
“Since day one I’ve said we’ll take every game as it comes so we’re not looking beyond Hull and into next year yet, not at all.
“We believe in ourselves and on our day we can beat anyone but we don’t look beyond the next game.
“We’ll get through the next game and if we win it’s a good half-year for us. We’re hopeful in the New Year we can move on and up.”
Mowden will take to the Arena on Saturday just two points off league-leaders Macclesfield after they slipped up against Birmingham & Solihull last time out.
But it is a team two places below his that Newton will be keeping a keen eye on when the calendar flips over to 2014.
“We always look at the results of the other teams around us, Macclesfield, Sedgley Park and Stourbridge,” Newton said.
“We are interested in all the results and Sedgley Park are probably the best team on form right now and the team to beat so we’ll just see what happens in the New Year.”
Northampton have been fined £60,000 after releasing George North for Wales duty outside the International Rugby Board’s designated Test window.
The Aviva Premiership club allowed North to feature in Wales’ 30-26 defeat at the hands of Australia on November 30, which came after the end of the autumn international period.
Premiership clubs have an agreement that only England players can be released for matches outside the IRB window, but North ensured he would be available for all Wales fixtures when he negotiated his summer move from the Scarlets to Franklin’s Gardens.
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