OAKHAM will discover what it takes to challenge for the title when they visit second-placed Loughborough tomorrow.
The match will be a stiff test for The Oaks who currently sit fourth after an impressive start to life in the Midlands 2 East (North) Division with a big win against Lincoln last Saturday.
Coach Mark Powell said: “If we have aspirations of going up we have to win this game. It will not be easy but we have the ability.”
But aware of his side’s occasional inconsistency, he warned: “They cannot afford not to turn up on Saturday.
“I think the key area will be scrum half. We have to protect Tom Harries. Our back row was awesome this week and they need to repeat that.”
The Loughbrough side is packed with quick university-based players and Powell added: “We need to play a simple and clinical game. We have to stick to our game plan.
“They are a similar size to us and very mobile. They will try to counter attack and expect to get points so our kicking has to be very tactical.”
But if they play in the fashion they did last weekend, when they ran in nine tries against lowly Lincoln, they will be in with a chance.
The Oaks cruised to a massive victory at The Showground to bounce back from the previous week’s defeat at Aylestone St James.
Try scorers were Theo Morgan, Toby Daw with a hat-trick, Adam Stimson, Will Armstrong, Tom Armstrong and Mark Matthews. The remainder of the points all came from Matthews’ boot.
“We started extremely well,” said Powell. “It was a good team display. It was a massive difference from the previous week.
“The training sessions midweek really paid off. All the players stuck at it all the way through.”
The Oaks’ next home fixture is against league leaders Market Rasen and Louth on February 5.
Oakham: W Armstrong, A Stimson (P Watt), J Harrison, B Harries, T Armstrong, M Matthews, O Baines, A Price, J Yoeman (P Meaghan), K Oliver, Gangells, P Gant, T Daw, T Morgan, A Boyle (M Stimson).
l OAKHAM 2nd XV beat Harborough 26-7 away from home.