RAMS head coach Seb Reynolds insisted his side still have much to do despite moving seven points clear at the top of National Two South following a hard-fought 33-15 home win against Dings Crusaders on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

The hosts ran in five tries to secure a bonus-point against a hard-working and brave Bristol-based side, and Reynolds paid tribute to the vanquished opponents.

He told the Chronicle: “Dings are a good side with a really good defence and a really big bunch of boys.

“It was never easy, but I never felt it was in doubt for us although we did make it hard for ourselves.

“I’m pleased with the result, any bonus-point win is good.”

He continued: “It was another controlled performance. We’re not at our best, but the English rugby season is so long you can’t go through the whole 30 games being absolutely amazing and on top form. You need to win sometimes with control and sometimes when you’re not at your best.

“I think it’s a sign of a good team we can win like that. There are no easy games in this league, and if you do drop off by 15 or 20 per cent you will lose.”

Rams took an early lead at Old Bath Road, their powerful pack again battering away at the line until No. 8 Jamie Guttridge crashed over. Alex Seers added the extras to make it 7-0.

Dings hit back, however, with a fine backs move which was finished by full back Jordan Grattan before Ben Bolster converted.

A Bolster penalty pushed Crusaders in front, but Rams rallied and took control of the contest before half time.

Firstly hooker Ben Henderson went over at the back of a rolling maul, before second row Ollie Taylor hammered his way over from close range.

The bonus-point was wrapped up just before half-time, courtesy of a thrilling Conor Corrigan try.

Dings had looked threatening themselves midway inside the Rams half, but a turnover and hack ahead was regathered by Rams before Corrigan was on hand to take the pass and dive over. Another Seers conversion had the hosts leading 26-10 at the interval.

The visitors started the second half well and cut the gap when Will Capon went over in the corner, but Rams reasserted themselves and scored the final try late on, centre Andrew Humberstone going over before Seers converted.

With Taunton Titans losing at Barnes, Rams are now seven points clear of the side now in second, Henley Hawks.

And Reynolds is pleased with the way his side have begun the campaign, albeit he is also pleased to have a week off before a mouth-watering clash at Titans on Saturday, November 17.

He reflected: “We’re in decent form, but we’ll give the players a week off because that’s 18 weeks including pre-season and they need a rest. They’ve been really good so far, they’ve shown good improvement over the summer and into the first 10 games.

“We’re very pleased to have a week off, the guys need it. Sometimes I think this is the hardest form of the game – these guys aren’t professional rugby players, they have jobs, they commute, they work early morning and into the evening and then we ask them to come to training and we put a lot on them.

“A 30-game season puts a lot on them so they need a week off.”

Turning his attentions to the Taunton fixture and the prospect of mounting a title-winning effort, he commented: “It’s an exciting fixture. For us, leagues aren’t won in November. The main thing for us is we continue to improve and this club is constantly improving and that’s what we search for.

“These players are homegrown players from the Reading area who we’re asking a lot of and they’re delivering at the moment.

“We never discuss winning this league, we talk about constant improvements and how we can improve our game. We want to please the people who come and watch and facilitate our players’ talent where we can send them out onto the park and they can go and play.

“If you burden yourself with the result and expectation, you look too far ahead and you can’t do that.”