Rugby round-up: Don’t take Cleckheaton for granted, says Sheffield chief Soden

Sheffield RUFC veteran Jason Soden in action against Cleckheaton
Sheffield RUFC veteran Jason Soden in action against Cleckheaton
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The National League Three North is back in action this Saturday after the international break for the Rugby World Cup final.

Both Steel City teams are on the road this weekend, and plan to build on their impressive recent victories.

Sheffield RUFC travel away to struggling Cleckheaton whilst Sheffield Tigers make the journey west to mid-table Stockport.

The Tigers, who have only lost once in eight matches, will be hoping to continue their impressive form and add to their four-point lead at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Sheffield will be aiming to continue their resurrection in form, with a view to surging up the table, as they strive for the tightly-contested play-off place.

The Abbeydale side’s last outing was an impressive 57-19 win over fellow mid-table Stockport, with the score-sheet dominated by a Jonny France hat-trick.

Jason Soden, director of rugby at Abbeydale, said: “We had a good start to the season, we had some great results and were riding high at the top of the league.

“Then we had a couple of poor results so to bounce back against Stockport with such an emphatic victory was absolutely what we needed to get back on track to finishing towards the top of the table.

“We’ve got a good atmosphere at the club and a good set of players and I think we have proven we are good enough to compete in this league, and stay in this league.

“We do not want to just be focused on staying up, we want to be competing at the top of the league.”

Sheffield’s next opponents, Cleckheaton, sit second from bottom in the table. When asked about the upcoming game, Soden said: “We take every game as it comes.

“We need to continue to concentrate throughout the full 80 minutes. We need to make sure we finish games off, win and win well.

“In this league no team should be taken for granted... Cleckheaton are no shabby side. They may have had a couple of bad results but they will certainly bounce back and will be a dangerous side to play against, so we are not taking them for granted.

“In this league bonus points are crucial; we need to make sure we get as many bonus points as we can and make sure Cleckheaton don’t get any at all.”

Sheffield currently sit seventh in the league on 23 points, level on points with Ilkley.