Cleckheaton captain knows exactly what’s required for survival

SKIPPER Richard Piper says that Cleckheaton RUFC are ready to put a disappointing season behind them as they aim to secure their status in the National League Three North with victory away to Lymm tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Cleckheaton currently sit one place outside the relegation places and two points ahead of Doncaster Phoenix in 12th place, who come up against already-relegated Firwood Waterloo tomorrow afternoon.

Cleckheaton will remain in the division if Doncaster fail to win, as Cleck are currently three points ahead of them, meaning two losing bonus points would still not be enough for Doncaster to overtake the Moorenders.

Cleck can stay up with one losing bonus point, providing Doncaster do not pick up any winning bonus points.

The Moorenders need a minimum of two losing bonus points to keep their destiny in their own hands, barring a mathematical freak, as they hold a far superior points difference over Doncaster.

Piper says it has been a tough season for the Moorenders, who have only won seven of their 25 games, but he is not looking for anything less than a positive outcome tomorrow afternoon.

“It is a must-win if we are to secure our status in the National League, it is the biggest game that we have had for a long time,” said Piper.

“We have got ourselves in this position, we haven’t performed as well as we should have in a lot of games. We are a better team than our performances have suggested and we shouldn’t be in this position.

“We have 80 minutes of rugby to sum up the season and we need to put our all into the game tomorrow.”

Lymm won the reverse fixture between the sides back in September, but Piper is confident that his team have the quality to get the points that will see them survive.

He said: “There have been plenty of games this season where we have lost due to our own mistakes, there is no looking back now. It is just a case of getting the job done.

“We need to stay disciplined in defence and we should be alright – on paper we have a chance.

“Lymm are not that far ahead of us in the table so it is a game that we can definitely win. For me it is about turning up and putting in the performance that we need.

“We have been in this position before and we know that we can come out on top and it will help to round the season off well.

“There has been a lot of stress because of the position we are in and we owe it to our coaches, they have put the effort in every week and we want to finish big for them.”

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