DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK might be sitting at the top of the National One table after winning their opening two games of the season, but stand-in skipper Jake Brady is confident there is plenty more to come from Danny Brown’s side.

Having seen off Bishop’s Stortford and Rotherham Titans in their opening two outings, Mowden return to action this afternoon when they travel to an Old Elthamians side that also boast a 100 per cent record.

Brady has inherited the captain’s armband from the injured Ollie Hodgson, and the second rower is happy to have presided over two wins.

A host of early-season injuries have forced Brown to shuffle his pack though, and there is a sense that Mowden are still improving as they come to terms with their new-look line-up.

“We’ve taken maximum points from the first two games, so I’ve been happy with the results,” said Brady, who is in his second season at The Northern Echo Arena. “As far as performances go, I’d say we improved from the first game to the second and we’ve displayed the attributes required to do well this season.

“However, I don’t think we’ve come close to producing the performance we’re capable of, and I wouldn’t expect us to only two games into the season. We’re only going to get better.

“Last year, when we went to Old Elthamians, it was the middle of winter and we had to implement a game plan to make sure we got the job done safely and got out of there with four points. This time, the ground is still good and we’ll be looking to show the Mowden brand of rugby.”

Brady skippered Harrogate for a number of seasons prior to moving to the North-East, and has enjoyed stepping in for Hodgson, who is set to miss at least another couple of months after breaking his fingers.

“I’ve enjoyed the role as captain,” he said. “It’s something I’ve done a lot of before at my last club, so it’s nothing new. Being captain is brilliant when you’re winning as you’re that slight bit more responsible for the outcome of the game. The reverse is also true when things don’t go so well.”

Mowden’s women’s team also made a winning start to the season last weekend, and Sharks skipper Heather Kerr is hoping for more success when Gloucester-Hartpury visit the Northern Echo Arena this afternoon.

“I was happy with the way we performed on Saturday,” said Kerr, who boasts 13 international caps with England. “The first game of the season is never going to be perfect, but it was encouraging to see that we were able to set up some good plays and give ourselves the opportunity to score.

“Many of the team, including myself, have been playing overseas during the summer, and it will be lovely to see players feedback that experience into the Sharks environment and help gel the team together.”