Dom Parsons believes Sheffield can avoid relegation this season if they are able to become more consistent in National Two North.
The Yorkshire side suffered a minor setback in their bid for survival as they fell to a 29-23 defeat against rivals Blaydon at Crows Trees last weekend.
Parsons insists Adam Byron’s side are capable of staying in this division, but they must start to string positive performances together as they target another season in English rugby’s fourth tier.
“We are really confident that we can be a National Two North team next year,” he said.
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“Inconsistency has been a bit of a disappointment, but this is our first season in National Two.
“We have battled and held our own with most teams, but it has been disappointing to not get over the line in games which we should have won.
“Blaydon last weekend was a case in point, but then we performed excellently in games where people have written us off like against Hinckley. It is now all about getting that consistency.”
Sheffield, who were promoted into this division from National Three Midlands last season, are currently six points adrift of safety as things stand and the club captain says his side have always believed they can maintain their status at this level.
“There has never been a doubt in our camp,” said Parsons.
“We went through trying times and runs without wins earlier in the season, but we have had some really good times.
“We had the derby win against Sheffield Tigers and had positive results just before Christmas as well. Our start to 2018 has been pretty reasonable too with wins against South Leicester and of course Hinckley, but for us, we know we are good enough to be a National Two team.”
Parsons also stated he was one of the “senior citizens” in the Sheffield squad despite only being 28 years-old. The former Doncaster Knights man made his 100th appearance for Sheffield earlier this month against Hinckley.
Having been at the club since 2014, Parsons has been on the journey to National Two North with Sheffield and says staying in this division would be a great achievement.
“It would mean a heck of a lot. Sheffield is the first club I have got to 100 appearances for and I am very proud to have done that,” Parsons said.
“Getting to 100 appearances was a brilliant occasion because it happened in the win over Hinckley, but for me, even though it is a really nice personal milestone, that’s nothing compared to staying in the league and achieving the team’s goal. The day that we do that, I will be over the moon. “
And there first step on their road to survival begins this weekend when they face Macclesfield in their rearranged fixture at Priory Park.
After an indifferent season, Macc have turned a corner under interim coach Marshall Gadd and having faced the Cheshire side before in his career, Parsons is ready for a tough test on Saturday.
Yes Sheffield RUFC start to believe ??
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He added: “We always believe we can bounce back from poor performances and I suppose that is one of the small benefits of inconsistency.
“We know we can bounce back from what happened against Blaydon. We go into Macclesfield and it is the only team in the league we have not had a look at yet.
“They have been going well since after Christmas, but it is a place I have been before and it is a place that I feel we can go as a group and come away with a very important result.
“It is a crucial game and a must win, but that is the same for every week. Every match is a cup final for us now.”