East Kilbride Rugby Club coach Allan Steel says the “feel-good factor” at Torrance House has been key in their rise to third spot in the league table.
Steel’s men claimed their third win on the bounce on Saturday with a 10-9 victory over GHK, a team who had lost just once in the last two seasons before they arrived in East Kilbride.
The result sent shock waves through West Division One, which now takes a three-week break for Scotland’s Autumn Tests, and Steel admits he couldn’t have asked for a better performance at the halfway point.
He told the News: “The boys have done really well so far.
“If you’d told me at the start of the season that we’d be third at this stage I would have taken it.”
He added: “It was quite a rushed appointment when I took over but everything has been going to plan.
“The real reason behind it, though, is that the feel-good factor is back at the club – those guys go out into every game to work hard for each other and they are having fun while they are doing it.
“They have played together for years now and are playing the kind of rugby they enjoy. That’s so important.”
EK have closed the gap on second-placed GHK to nine points with runaway leaders Marr 19 points ahead.
EK now don’t have a league match until December 1, when they face Irvine away and although Steel has mixed feelings about the timing of the break, he’s certainly taking the positives from it.
He said: “It’s disappointing that we are stopping now because the guys have good momentum.
“The team has been getting better as the season progresses, but I’m looking at the break positively because it will do some of our guys good.
“There’s a few carrying injuries and, with such a small squad, it gives them time to heal and recharge their batteries.
“They deserve a break and I’ve given them the whole week off before we come back into training and line-up a couple of friendlies.
“By the time we start up again we’ll be in a good position and I don’t see why we can’t finish the season high up the table.
“To go and beat GHK, who have only lost once in the last two seasons until now, says a lot and it was a really solid performance from us on Saturday.
“I’m delighted with our position, but it’s all down to the players. They are really playing for the jersey and that makes life a lot easier for me.”