UNDERBANK Rangers will play their biggest game of the season next week when fellow title-challengers Hemel Stags come to The Cross, but head coach Richard knight is fully focused on the task of overcoming local rivals Bramley Buffaloes for the second time in nine days tonight (7.30).
The return clash is Rangers’ fourth game in less than two weeks, but fatigue has failed to creep in as the Holmfirth side have run in three convincing wins and having already bettered Bramley on home soil last week, tonight’s fixture had been billed as preparation for the potential title-decider next Saturday.
However, Knight is under no illusions that his side have to take one game at a time and any slip-ups this evening could seriously dampen their title charge.
“We have got a really big game next week, but that won’t be so much of a big game if we don’t win,” said Knight.
“We are just concentrating on one game at a time. We have looked towards Hemel, but we have got to focus on our next game and we know that we will have to play pretty well to come away with the three points.
“It will be like the game we played last Wednesday, they are pretty tough and pretty physical and they will have a big following when we go to their spot, so it will definitely be tough.”
The Underbank chief is hoping that the weather conditions stay dry, giving them the best chance possible to exhibit another top performance and stretch their winning streak to ten games.
“I hope we can put on the same performance that we did against Nottingham, I think if we beat any team 74-0 then I will be pretty pleased,” he added.
“But I don’t think it is going to be like anything like the Nottingham game.
“The factor to our advantage is that they play on a much bigger field, so we will hopefully be able to move the ball around a bit.
“We have slowly started to click now. We struggled a bit having missed a few matches and we have found it hard playing four games in under two weeks, so if we get this game out of the way then hopefully we will get back to playing every Saturday and continue with our winning run.”
Leading try-scorer Jay Senior remains sidelined through injury along with Michael Lang and Rob Joyce. Kris Harrop is also absent, while James Usher and Will Midgley return.