Coach Ricky Nebbett knows big games are decided by small margins and is talking from experience.

The 36-year-old turned out for Leicester Tigers and Harlequins – among others – in his playing days, appearing in two Heineken Cup finals and winning promotion to the Premiership in the process.

Nebbett takes his National Division One table-topping Esher side to pre-season title favourites Doncaster Knights this weekend and is hoping some of that big game know-how can tip the balance in his side’s favour.

“I’ve experienced it all as a player and I’d like to think I’ve picked one or two things up along the way,” he said this week.

“Every game is tough and important in terms of the league.

“Having come down from the Championship, and being full-time professionals they are everyone’s favourites to go back up so I do not think there is any pressure on us, which is a good place to be.

“There is still a lot of rugby to be played this season against a lot of ambitious teams, so this is far from a league decider.

“They will be well drilled, well prepared and will not make many mistakes.

“Whoever wants it the most, keeps their discipline best and makes the fewest number of mistakes will win.

“It will be a game of small margins.” Esher sent out a message to the Knights as they beat Tynedale to go top of the table on Saturday.

The Molesey Road men – for whom captain Neil Sweeney was man of the match – scored eight tries to demolish the visitors 56-24 and, with the Knights losing 22-14 at Blaydon, moved Esher two points clear at the summit.

Lock Brandon Walker (two), fly half Tom Whelan, number eight Mike Macfarlane (two), prop Stewart Maguire, replacement back row Cameron Gentles and replacement scrum half Andy Garner all crossed to rack up the half century of points.

And Nebbett insisted one man stood out more than most.

“I do not usually single anyone out, but prop Alex Mount made his debut and was outstanding,” he added.

“He was playing for Purley John Fisher last season – four leagues below this level – so has come a long way in a short time.

“As a fellow prop I know how hard that is. He was up against a Championship level prop and did really well.”