YORK Acorn ARLC head coach Leigh Paul-Rientoul has praised last week’s “champagne rugby” but warns his side may need to be more clinical against Oulton Raiders.

The Blue and Golds thumped Ince Rose Bridge 74-12 to move up to seventh in the National Conference League division one.

But, while Paul-Rientoul commended his side for making the most of the opportunity – which has also taken their points difference back into the black – he still spotted areas for improvement this coming Saturday.

The last time Acorn and Oulton met, the Thanet Road outfit staged a 20-point comeback to see off the Raiders 36-32. Oulton now sit 10th following a 10-match losing run.

Paul-Rientoul said: “It could be a trickier one away from home.

“I don’t really look at the form of the other team – I concentrate on us. I’m not the kind of coach who looks at a team and thinks ‘they do this or that’, I take each game as it comes.

“Still, they’re down there (in the table). Hopefully that will be a good thing for us and help us get two points.

“We definitely need to be winning games now if we are to be in with a chance of getting to the play-offs and getting promoted.

“I said to the guys the other day, ‘do want this season to get to a point where games mean nothing? Where we don’t get to the play-offs and we’re just turning up to games? Or, we could end up in a relegation dogfight.’

“We need to be winning.

“Not taking too much away from us, they (Ince Rose Bridge) came with a weakened side. A lot of lads let them down, and we capitalised on that and made sure we put in a good performance.

“Even though the scoreline was high, we had chances we should have put away. It seemed we panicked a little bit when we broke through the line and lost the ball. Times when we could have scored but didn’t.

“Oulton will be a tougher test – there may only be a couple of times we break through so we need to make the most of them.

“It didn’t matter on Saturday, but losing them in a closer, more competitive game could be the difference between winning and losing.

“It was difficult for us to stick to our game plan because it was a little bit easy at times. We were playing some champagne rugby and getting a little excited. It was nice to see the lads enjoying themselves but it was maybe not the best preparation.”

Acorn have a few absent for Saturday, including Harry Bromwich and code-switching winger Ben Tenge, but Paul-Rientoul says the Blue and Golds still have a healthy squad. Former Acorn man Arron Thompson could come into the picture after training with the squad on Tuesday.

In the Yorkshire Men’s League premier, New Earswick All Blacks travel to fourth-placed Nottingham Outlaws.

Division one leaders Heworth host Hunslet Club Parkside next Wednesday.