Halifax Vandals continued their strong start to the season in Yorkshire Four by claiming a bonus point at Otliensians last weekend.
Jamie Bloem’s side, convincing winners over Mosborough on the opening day, lost 26-22 to a side the South African believes are favourites to claim the title.
But Bloem’s satisfaction at claiming tangible reward against opponents who romped to two big wins over Vandals last season was tempered by the knowledge that it could, perhaps should, have been even better.
“We were 22-3 in front at half time, and when you’re in that position to would like to think you can go on and win the game,” said Bloem.
“If you’d said to me a fortnight ago that we’d have a win and a bonus point defeat from those fixtures, I’d have taken it.
“Otliensians are going to be champions or close to it; they’re a really young, fit side, a good side.
“We lost Paul Jowett at prop in the second half and that ended up causing us some hassles. But they still only scored the try to go in front with three or four minutes to go, so we did well.
“The good thing for me is that there wasn’t a single player in that dressing room who was happy with a bonus point loss, despite the fact they got hammered there last season.
“We’ve got a weekend off now to train and regroup and get ready for Sheffield Oaks next week.”
Old Brodleians face a tough visit to second-placed Wath on Dearne in Yorkshire One.
Brods, who lost 31-22 at home to Doncaster Phoenix last weekend, have worked hard this week to improve their lineout and rucking.
New signing, Tongan prop Loma Kivalu, has received his visa and was expected to land on Wednesday. Coach John Cole is expected to use him at the earliest opportunity.
A lack of possession and control of the lineout ultimately cost Brods last week.
David Spivey broke clear and finished under the posts for Dan Wood to convert and give them an early 7-0 lead.
However, Phoenix turned down an easy three points and were rewarded with seven from a lineout drive and goal.
Doncaster dominated possession for long periods and added two converted tries, the second with Callum Thompson in the sin bin.
However, just before half time Sam Deacon showed great strength to break two tackles and score.
Doncaster continued to plunder the Brods lineout and went 28-12 up.
Player coach Chris Planchett was yellow carded and Deacon combined with Liam Scott to put Spivey in for his second and Wood converted.
A Wood penalty cut the gap to six points but a Storey drop goal settled it.