GARY THORNTON watched his York City Knights side rack up a club record league win - and declared they still had "lots of improvement in them".
The Knights, the early Championship One leaders, ran in 14 tries as they hammered South Wales Scorpions 76-0 at Huntington Stadium to maintain their 100 per cent record this season.
The margin of victory topped the 80-6 win at London Skolars in May 2009, when they also scored 14 tries, and it was also the first time they had nilled a team since the Challenge Cup record 132-0 rout against Northumbria University in March 2011. The last time they had kept a clean sheet against pro opposition was a 62-0 win in August 2009, the Skolars again the victims.
Head coach Thornton lauded the spirit in the camp at present, saying the team were a "joy to coach" and while he admitted it was not the complete performance, he reckoned big things awaited his flourishing team.
“We were a bit scratchy at times with a few errors - the conditions (rain showers) didn’t help – but I’m delighted with the result,” he said.
“I think I’m more pleased with the zero for Scorpions than anything. We'd spoken about that - that we wanted our defence to be good and not be beaten. On top of that we scored some fantastic tries, with some really good skills on show. It was great to see.
"We're in a fortunate situation at the moment. We've got a pretty healthy squad and people are pushing for places. When they're left out, they're disappointed to be left out, but there's a really good team spirit and things are going well. We have to keep that momentum going.
"We've still got lots of improvement in us, but I think this group of players is capable of big things this year if they carry on in this form.
"There's a terrific feeling around the place with everyone getting on with the job. There are no moaners and it's a joy to coach at the moment.
"It's still early days and we have to stay grounded but I hope we can keep this momentum going."
The Knights scored seven tries in each half, with scrum-half Jonny Presley ending with four while stand-off Benn Hardcastle bagged one try and ten goals for a personal tally of 24 points.
Thornton added: "In games likes this it's easy to go away from the game-plan, the structures and what is working, but we didn't do that. We did get a bit giddy at times but for a large part we stuck to what was working.
"The win over Gloucester was only by ten points and over Hunslet it was two so it was important we got points on the board and took our chances. It might have been easy to go away from that - individuals could have gone and done their own thing - but I'd said let's not get too selfish and they stuck to the task well."