AFTER five matches Bridgwater and Albion find themselves fifth place in Wester Counties (North) with 15 points from their three victories, 10 behind table toppers Nailsea  and Backwell, writes Richard Walsh.

Reflecting on the season to date Geoff Sluman the club’s director of rugby said: "It has been an interesting start to life in Tribute Counties One league. It is a very competitive league and some of the teams we have played so far would do well in the league above and would not be near the bottom of that league.

“We have a long history and despite maybe playing some of the teams we are against before it has not been for many years so each team and the grounds we are playing on is a learning curve for us.

"I don’t think there is much difference between the leagues, obviously there is a difference between the top of one league and the bottom of the other but generally the standards are quite close."

He added that it is a competitive league.

“The teams that were promoted out of the league we are in now and into the one we came from are Cullompton and Topsham who now occupying fourth and fifth places. I have said quite a few times that history tells you that relegated teams into the leagues below are at best only about a mid-table side.

“Therefore, if we want to be better than a mid-table side then we have to improve and to this end the playing squad and coaches have been working very hard to achieve this and there are multiple building blocks.

“Firstly we have strengthened our coaching team with the addition of Joe Snow to Richard Capstick and head coach Carl Rimmer all of whom have premiership playing experience."

And speaking on the Bridgwater squad, Sluman said: "The existing players have continued to develop and are learning new things from the coaches. We have also recruited well into some critical positions with a lot of those new recruits being at first team standard, providing competition for places and extra ability and experience.”

Sluman concluded: “It is working well for us so far with the integration of new and existing players and some experience with some young enthusiasm and we are playing some really good rugby. It is an exciting time and there is a good buzz about the place.”

After a break last weekend Bridgwater and Albion return to league action on Saturday afternoon when they host Cinderford Second XV who are currently fourth in the table, at  College Way where kick off 3pm.