Co-captain Michael Young knows Newcastle Falcons will be in for a serious test on Sunday when they welcome Coventry to Kingston Park Stadium.
Only four points separate the unbeaten Falcons from their visitors going into the 3pm Kingston Park kick-off, scrum-half Young saying: “There are good teams in this league and we definitely don’t take anyone lightly.
“We do plenty of analysis on teams as we would do in the Premiership, and Coventry are no different.
“They’ve got a lot of Premiership experience, they’re only a few points behind us in the league and it’s a strong challenge that we’re facing.
“I’ve got no doubt whatsoever that they’ll be coming up here all guns blazing, and our lads are right up for it as well.
“We need to make sure we’re on the money in terms of the accuracy we show in implementing our game plan, and if we do that we’re in a good position to get the result we want.”
Insisting Coventry’s proximity to Newcastle in the standings adds no greater pressure on Sunday, Young said: “There’s enough pressure in our own environment to make you want to do well, so the fact that a team might be breathing down our neck on the league table doesn’t make any difference in that sense.
“We’re challenged to train hard every single day and there’s also the competition for places here which drives standards, so the fact that we’re playing a team who are near us in the standings doesn’t affect it as such. There’s already the right amount of pressure on us.”
Enjoying a further boost with all five of the club’s Rugby World Cup players now back from Japan, the scrum-half added: “The guys have come back from Japan with a great experience under their belt, and we’re in an unbelievable position to be able to add that level of quality into a squad which is already top of the league.
“The impact that they will have is great, either through playing or just driving that competition for selection, and that can only be a good thing.”
Hopeful of a more expansive game than last weekend’s weather-affected 11-6 triumph at Bedford, a game which saw Young winning man of the match, he said: “The boys ground it out last weekend, we played the conditions better in the second half and you’re going to get days like that.
“It wasn’t a great spectacle for the fans but we’re out there to get a victory, and we’re five from five so far in the league. Once conditions improve slightly we’ll begin to play the brand that we want to, but when the weather and the pitch is like that you’ve just got to dig in.
“I do realise it can be frustrating for supporters but you can’t play an open game when the conditions are that bad, and as players we share the same frustrations. Those games are just about getting the ‘W’ however it comes, but I realise it wasn’t pretty.”
Tickets for Sunday’s 3pm kick-off against Coventry are available by clicking here, calling 0871 226 6060 or from Kingston Park Stadium in person.