CHAMPIONS Underbank are looking to extend their lead at the top of National Conference League Division III at the expense of struggling Bristol Sonics at The Cross tomorrow (2.30).
Bank went top after two games following their 74-0 rout of St Albans Centurions and are expected to back that up with another big win this weekend against a Sonics side propping up the table and desperate to prevent three losses in as many fixtures.
But Rangers coach Richard Knight is confident his side will produce another classy performance, with several key players expected to make their return.
“We’ve been pretty lucky this week and no-one has seemed to pick up any major knocks,” said Knight.
“The 17 that played last week are all available and some of the lads who were sidelined are looking to make their return as well.
“Jayden Covell-Wood and Gavin Dyson should be back, and Nick Briggs is also looking to make a full recovery.
“So we’ll be fielding another strong team, and as long as we play in the same manner as last week then there should be no problems. ”
Despite executing a near-perfect performance last week, the men form Holmfirth have been looking to improve any defensive glitches to ensure another clean sheet.
The Centurions were unable to find a way through the Bank defences.
But they did threaten at times and Knight has been working to stamp out any opposition pressure.
“Our defensive work was good last Saturday, but there were times when we were nearly punished on the rare occasions St Albans got through,” said Knight.
“This week, we’ve looked really strong in training in terms of developing the great organisation and contact in our back line.
“Our attack was excellent, so hopefully there will be another repeat performance.”
The Sonics sit at the opposite end of the table to Underbank following two home defeats to Warrington and Kippax.
And Knight knows it will take a lot for Bristol to overcome his Rangers on home soil, although he is taking nothing for granted and is wary of the threat that the Sonics possess.
“We are confident going into this game, but we definitely won’t be taking it lightly,” he continued.
“They look to have a big, physical squad and that has perhaps hampered them in their previous league games as they have played on a wide-open pitch.
“Coming to The Cross may suit them better, so we’ve made sure in training we are ready for their size and look to keep their two good outside backs quiet.
“Nevertheless, I feel they will have to produce an extremely determined performance to beat us tomorrow as I’m confident we’re looking good enough to come away with another strong victory.”