UNBEATEN leaders Underbank are about to face their biggest Co-operative Conference National test of the season.
That’s the view of coach Richard Knight as Rangers bid to make it 11 wins out of 11 at in-form Hemel Stags tomorrow.
Although the hosts have won just four of their opening games, they have finally begun to find some form.
That was reflected in last week’s 30-28 triumph at third-placed Coventry Bears.
And Knight knows that will make them a tough opponent, especially with his side still lacking several key players due to injury.
“This will be our toughest game of the year so far,” said Knight.
“We’ve had some real scarps with Hemel over the past few years and they’re a good, physical team.
“They beat us in the League last season before we got our own back in the play-offs.
“Both games were really tough, and this game tomorrow will be no different.
“To go to Coventry and win shows they’ve got a lot going for them, and it’ll give them a lot of confidence going into this game.
“But confidence isn’t something we’re exactly lacking at this stage, as you’d imagine given our position in the table.
“Yes, we’ve still got a number of key absentees, but with the depth of the squad we’ve got we know that if we produce a good, solid display we’ll have a little too much for them.”
Knight is hopeful, however, that this weekend’s side will be stronger than the one which narrowly beat Kippax Knights 18-12 at The Cross six days ago.
Rob Joyce, Andy Boothroyd and Sam Housley should all return, while new signing Marlon Miller is also in the reckoning.
The former Rochdale, Oldham and Blackpool winger was given a second week to get to know his new teammates after completing just two training sessions at the club.
But Knight has hinted he could make his debut against the Stags, along with the coach himself, who was forced to play at stand-off against Kippax.
“With Neil Barrett away for three weeks, we’ve been struggling for recognised halves,” added Knight.
“So I felt the best course of action was to play myself. I did find it tough, because it’s the first time I’ve played this year after slipping two discs.
“But I’m ready to go again and, hopefully, I’ll be ready to lead the side to another win.
“As I said, we’ve got the players capable of doing it.”