UNDERBANK will compete in the Conference National play-offs for the second year running.
Rangers booked their place after a convincing 76-26 win against Gateshead Storm at The Cross on Saturday.
The Holmfirth-based side will travel to Featherstone Lions on September 6 in round one of the end-of-season competition, although they do also go head-to-head at The Cross tonight in a re-arranged League fixture (6.45).
Team manager Neil Farrell said he was hopeful the team would be successful in the play-offs despite the club managing only their fifth win of the season last weekend.
“We know we can go to Featherstone and get a positive result,” he said.
“We are capable of beating anyone on our day and are not in the slightest way fearful of any of the teams who will contest the play-offs.”
Rangers started the brightest out of the two sides in their win against Gateshead and were rewarded with the game’s first try.
After 11 minutes loose forward Darren Hawkyard surged through a gap in the visitors’ defence and supplied a pass to Chris Lodge who touched down. David Holmes converted.
The momentum then switched to their opponents, with Rangers conceding two consecutive penalties, and after 14 minutes prop forward Gareth Barron duly punished the hosts by powering over the try line.
Chris Burnett, Neil Emmerson and Michael Lassen all touched down for Gateshead in what was a high-scoring first period for both teams.
But Darren Hawkyard, Michael Bostock (2), Tom Stringer and Simon Burkinshaw, helped Rangers achieve a 32-20 half-time lead.
After Rangers’ Burkinshaw and Gateshead’s Michael Lassen were sin-binned early in the second half for fighting, Bostock sprinted 90m to claim his hat trick.
After 53 and 56 minutes, Jason Southwell and a fourth try for Bostock respectively, extended Underbank’s lead.
Gateshead’s hopes of gaining a positive result were hindered further when half-back Scott Woods was shown a yellow card for dissent.
The hosts scored three more tries in his absence, with Hawkyard, Brook York and Burkinshaw all touching down.
Despite the visitors’ Gareth Barron grabbing four points for the second occasion, a fifth of the afternoon for Bostock, and another one for York, sealed the Underbank win.
Neil Farrell, reflecting on the victory, said: “We played well in the first half but gave the ball and, consequently, penalties away. We put ourselves under pressure.
“In the second half we scored some brilliant individual tries. I think the mistakes we tend to make is due to not achieving a settled side this season.”
Farrell, looking ahead to the play-offs, added: “We now have about two weeks to prepare ourselves for the Featherstone game.
“Hopefully we should have Anthony Murray and John Birt back for then.”