Despite the crushing scoreline Wharfedale coach Tom McGee was “hugely upbeat” after his side’s defeat at Esher.

He said: “I have gone through the tape of the game and there are a lot of good things to show the players.

“We lost Richard Rhodes early in the match then Andy Hodgson and Adam Whaites were injured too.

“It was only when we were reduced in numbers that the points piled up and gave the scoreline an unfair look.”

McGee added: “I was proud of my players because they were under pressure but they did not wilt. Esher are a quality side and I am sure it won’t be long before they win promotion back to the Championship.

“But it shouldn’t be forgotten that our lads played some good rugby too.

“We made plenty of line breaks and forced Esher to give away penalties, but we just didn’t quite finish the way we would like.”

With a growing injury list which now includes Lloyd Davies and Alistair Allen as well as Hodgson, Rhodes and Whaites, and concerns over the weather, Wharfedale have delayed selection for Saturday’s home game with promoted Loughborough at The Avenue.

“Injuries are part and parcel of the game,” said McGee. “Every club has to deal with them at some stage of the season.

“It is how we deal with them that is crucial.”

Although his team have slipped dangerously close to the relegation positions, McGee isn’t pressing the panic button.

“I believe in my players. I won’t be putting any extra pressure on them because I remain convinced we will get the wins we need.”