‘We want to win everything.’
That’s the message from record-breaking Wetherby RUFC boss Mike McHugh-Hicks after his side extended their unbeaten run to 40 games last weekend.
Saturday’s 31-17 Yorkshire Division Three win over Airborough was their 35th successive triumph and, going forward, Hicks has set the bar high for his recently promoted side.
“Our aim is to win every competition we enter this year,” he said.
“We’ve had a great start to the season and proved a lot of people wrong along the way.
“We got promoted last year and a few people doubted we’d be as successful, but we’ve had seven bonus-point wins from seven and we’ve got the best defence and attack in the league, so it’s been a great success so far even though we’ve had a lot of lads unavailable.”
He added:“Some of our players have been injured and a lot of the boys have been away due to the World Cup, but we’ve rotated well.
“That’s meant we’ve used players who might not have played otherwise and everyone has played their part this season which makes me immensely proud.”
After picking up the Men’s Team of the Year gong at the National Rugby Awards last month, McHugh-Hicks is brimming with optimism when looking to the future, a far cry from the lowly position the club found itself in prior to the present chief’s arrival.
“When I came here, the club weren’t doing well and 15 players turned up to my first training session,” he revealed.
“But we prepared ourselves well and quickly started to win games and, just over 50 games later, we’re in a great position.
“Winning breeds interest and makes people want to play for you. We’ve had new guys coming in, junior players making the step up and former players coming back to play for us. It’s been a great run and we’re confident we can carry it on for a little while yet.
“But it’s not all about winning,” McHugh-Hicks affirmed.
“I’d accept a loss if the effort and performance was there. We don’t focus all our energies on wins and losses, we just stick to the gameplan and the players use their skills when things get tough. It’s a simple formula which works.”
And McHugh-Hicks says his side are ready for the inevitable challenges ahead, starting with Bramley Phoneix on Saturday: “They will come up and compete, like every side do,” he said.
“For every team we play, it’s like their cup final; they want to be the team who ends our run. The weather will obviously change as we get into winter too, but we feel prepared for anything that comes our way.”