As if National III North rugby clubs didn’t have enough to worry about with leaders Huddersfield RU this season.
Firstly there’s a powerful, rampaging pack at Lockwood Park who never take a backward step.
Then you have a string of backs with pace to burn and the handling skills to match, highlighted by the brilliance of 21-try Elliot Hodgson.
Cope with either of those departments and you are doing pretty well, but it probably won’t save you from being expertly dissected by the deadly right boot of Chris Bell.
The 20-year-old fly half has been metronomic in his accuracy as Gareth Lewis’s side have powered to the top of the standings on the back of an impressive unbeaten run.
Bell is modest about his achievements, but 265 points tell their own story and he admits to feeling very much “in the zone” when he has the ball on the kicking tee.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work and it’s a confidence thing – once the first one goes over I feel like I’m away,” said Bell, who is in the final year of a business management degree at the University of Huddersfield.
“Danny Brough from the Huddersfield Giants came down and did a session with me and, since then, I’ve been honing things and making changes along the way.”
Bell adopts a Jonny Wilkinson-style kicking routine and explains: “It’s a personal thing, trying to repeat and get comfortable.
“It’s more about visualisation than anything else, and feeling like you are not going to miss.
“I don’t feel any pressure, I’ve just got the responsibility of adding the extra points to credit all the hard work the team have done.”
A Bell miss is rare, and he admits to being ‘fuming’ if the ball doesn’t sail between the sticks.
It’s become a regular sight, however, and rewards his hard graft.
“I’m doing a lot of work and extras after training,” he explained. “I stay and do more after the main session and always on matchdays I’m the first out to get a good warm-up done.
“I’m loving it at the club.
“I think all the lads would say we were in a dark place last season, turning up every week and getting beaten.
“We weren’t losing heavily, but we just couldn’t quite see matches out. Now, everyone is buzzing in training and we are bringing that to matchday, so long may it continue.
“It’s a matter of taking each game as it comes. When you start to look too far ahead, that’s when stumbling blocks appear, so our only focus at the moment is on Billingham this coming Saturday, and we know that will be tough.”
Twice a Twickenham winner with Yorkshire Under 20s in the county championship final, Bell made his senior county debut at the end of last season, playing as a substitute for Yorkshire against Eastern Counties at Cambridge.
He would love to get another shot in the White Rose shirt.
“It’s a matter of getting your name out there and showing year-on-year progress and, hopefully, I can develop into that side,” he said.
“Playing in the last game of last season will hopefully have helped and it would be a good thing to be selected again.”
So what’s been the highlight of the season so far?
“The win against Rossendale took us back to last year because it was a really good contest,” he answered of the 22-5 success (he scored the 17 points to add to Lewis Workman’s try).
“It was one of those matches which went past in the blink of an eye because it was so intense, the atmosphere was incredible and it was a really good performance from us.”
Chris Robshaw faces a nervous wait to discover the extent of his shoulder injury, with England ordering further examination of a problem suffered for Harlequins.
The 30-year-old has been unable to take part in England’s two-day training camp owing to the shoulder problem picked up in Harlequins’ 24-17 Aviva Premiership defeat at Worcester.