SWINDON rugby coach Nick Brooks said his side showed the old Swindon dog in their performance after battling past 15-man Yeovil at Greenbridge Road on Saturday.

Yeovil – who are treading water in mid-table of the Southern Counties South division – showed plenty of courage and went toe to toe with their more numerous counterparts before falling 36-26 to Brooks’ men.

The Swindon coach admitted he feared his team would not manage to pick up their 10th win of the season midway through proceedings as Yeovil held a slender lead.

Yet a late flurry of points wrestled momentum back towards the home team and Swindon recorded a league double over the Somerset side – following the 24-19 success earlier in the campaign.

Brooks, who was told by spectators how enjoyable the game was to view as a neutral, paid tribute to the efforts of Yeovil and congratulated them on the fight they showed to run his side close.

He said: “It was an easy game that we made really hard work of.

“But fair play to Yeovil because they came up with just 15 players, and they played on raw emotion.

“It’s difficult to play against a team who come up and know that they’re the underdogs and play with a free spirit.

“They threw it around and did their very best to disrupt us – credit to them because at one point the coaching staff and I felt we were going to lose that game with the way it was going.

“They were quicker, they were aggressive, but we stuck to our game plan and we were able to break them down eventually.

“The guys showed some true grit and showed the old Swindon dog in the trenches.”

Brooks was delighted to see his side come through their tricky test ahead of a week that could see them just a game away from playing at Twickenham Stadium.

But if they are to get there, Swindon will have to take a leaf out of Yeovil’s book and scrap for every ball – a message the head coach says he will relay to his players ahead of Saturday’s big game against Reading.

Brooks said: “That’s the beautiful thing about rugby for me – any team on any day, if they want to win enough and they put the hard work in then they will do it.

“It was a good reminder to us that yes, we’ve played at a higher level, but there are teams in this league that want to beat us and are capable of doing so.

“So it was a really important reminder to us that no matter the circumstances, any team on their day can turn us over.

“It was a really good game and a pleasure to be involved in – I think both teams enjoyed it, but it was good to get the win.”