SADDLEWORTH Rangers are hoping their Standard Cup win will act as a catalyst to improve fortunes in division one of the National Conference League.
Rangers defeated Mayfield 32-20 in the final that was staged at Oldham RUFC to pick up a piece of silverware.
Coach Wes Rogers wants his newly-promoted side to build on its success after a challenging start to its league campaign.
Rangers has one draw and four losses from its first five matches, though admittedly one of those games was at home.
Rogers explained: “In every game we competed and our league place doesn’t reflect where we are. If points were given for effort, we would be top of the league.
“Once we cut down the number of penalties we give away and get consistent, we will take some beating and I can see us winning games by 60 points.”
Rogers added the difference between division two is that players are more disciplined and patient and there are a “few smart players” in every team.
The coach is hoping his side will capitalise on a run of five home games in the next six, starting with Milford who visit Shaw Hall Bank Road on Saturday (May 4).
He said: “The Standard Cup was a nice distraction and break from the league, a one-off.
“We are not far off and are there or thereabouts but getting punished for doing silly and daft things in certain areas.
“I am sure we will get better. It has been a tough time of the year losing players to weddings and stag dos and we have yet to have a settled side.”
The shortage of players – Rogers said numbers at training vary from 19 to 35 – resulted in Ian Sinfield, 42, being forced out of retirement for the Standard Cup final and the second-row forward scored a try in an outstanding individual display.
Vastly experienced scrum half Chris Hough, who has returned to the club after a sell at Littleborough RUFC, scored two tries in the final and there were also touchdowns for Gaz Morgan, (2) and Phil Wood while young player Sam Hart was named player of the match.