Uddingston Rugby Club head coach Grant Talbot admits that his side’s whirlwind start to the season could have him re-evaluating his goals.
Talbot – who replaced Stuart Chalmers this summer – had a initial target of simply avoiding relegation from Tennent’s West Division 2 this season.
He told the Motherwell Times & Bellshill Speaker: “When I spoke to the players after arriving here at first they said they simply wanted to stay up this season having recently gone through a couple of coaches and finished mid-table last season.”
But – after victories in their first two matches to go top of the table early on – observers are tipping Uddingston as general title contenders this season.
That kind of talk doesn’t seem unreasonable, given the fact that the Villagers followed up their opening day 89-10 win at Millbrae with last Saturday’s equally dominant 67-7 home trouncing of Loch Lomond (match report on page 36).
“Working with the players at Uddingston has been like a breath of fresh air,” Talbot added.
“Winning two games on the bounce has given them a bit of confidence. We are scoring and not conceding.
“People are now talking about us doing well this year and we need to deal with the pressure of that.
“Everything has gone right so far but we will come unstuck at some point so we don’t want to come out singing and dancing and saying we are going to win the league now.
“We just need to keep the boys’ feet on the ground.
“Obviously if we win our next couple of games and get to 20 points then we’re not going to go down and will re-evaluate our targets.”
Talbot takes great heart from the fact that around 25 players have been loyally turning up at training every Tuesday and Thursday night.
But the new gaffer isn’t standing for any nonsense, as Lewis Tunnicliffe – who scored three tries against Millbrae – was dropped from Saturday’s match after twice missing training.
“Lewis will be back for our game at Clydebank this Saturday if he attends training,” Talbot added.
“If boys see players getting picked who aren’t going to training then this could demotivate them.”
Talbot revealed that he was sold on coming to Uddingston in the first place by the prospect of boosting the club’s youth section.
This was particularly appealing to him as he had previously held posts as a development officer with both Scottish Rugby and Leicester Tigers.