Influential duo Neil Barrett and Matt Adam will return to action as Underbank Rangers seek more National Conference League Third Division success at home to Coventry Bears tomorrow.
Rangers warmed up for the clash at The Cross (2.30) with a straight-forward 58-0 victory at struggling Peterlee Pumas six days ago.
That brought player-coach Richard Knight’s men a ninth win from 13 starts ahead of a more challenging encounter with the Bears and then a two-week break.
And Knight is determined to make sure they head into their free fortnight in upbeat mood.
“There were a lot of positives for us to take out of the Peterlee game,” said Knight.
“We kept the opposition to nil, we completed our sets well, scored some good tries and came away injury-free.
“The only real concern for us was the number of penalties we conceded. We got away with it against Peterlee, but we wouldn’t have done against one of the top sides.
“That includes Coventry, who are capable of beating anyone on their day, so working on improving our discipline has been a high priority this week.
“It’s a problem I’m confident we can fix up fairly easily, and I’m certainly confident we’ll win the game if we do.
“I know the boys are looking forward to hosting a side who’ll be playing in the semi-professional Kingstone Press Championship next season. They’ll enjoy beating a club who’ll pretty soon be paying their players!
“Our record against Coventry is pretty good, they’ve never beaten us at home, and I see no reason why we can’t continue that trend tomorrow.”
And Knight knows that in half-back Barrett and skillful Aussie forward Adam he’s welcoming back two quality performers.
“They’ll make a huge difference for us, and they’re available again at just the right time,” added Knight.
“This is the time of the year – we’ve got four games left after Coventry – when you’re looking to put in consistent performances, and we’ve got more chance of doing that with players like Neil and Matt back in the side.
“And, all being well, we’ll go into those last four games with a squad that’s in good shape.
“Ideally, we’d prefer one week off rather than two, but there are quite a few of our players carrying niggly little injuries at the moment, so the break will certainly help them.”
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