Director of rugby Dan Richmond has praised the fighting spirit shown by his Sheffield Tigers side, after a narrow 20-13 defeat to Chester at the weekend.
Tigers battled back from 15-3 down, through tries from Dave Price and Tom Coates, to pick up a valuable bonus point - their sixth point from their last three games.
Richmond’s side, though, slipped back into the National 2 North relegation places, after Hull recorded a huge 37-13 victory over Bromsgrove.
“We were pleased with the way we fought back to pick up the losing bonus point,” Richmond told the Telegraph.
“We were sloppy at times, though, and Chester have had one purple patch which has been the difference between two good sides on the day.
“The players have been reaping the rewards of their hard work recently.”
Meanwhile, in the West Yorkshire borough of Kirklees, Sheffield RUFC were on the end of their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday, when they travelled to league leaders Cleckheaton and lost 52-5.
Ben Wade, Sheffield’s director of rugby, though, believes the scoreline did not reflect how his team played over the course of the game.
“Cleckheaton came out strong, they were clinical and very consistent,” he said.
“They are probably the strongest side that we have faced this season.
“Saying that, we gave a good account of ourselves and didn’t look like a side that was losing by 52 points.
“They had to work hard for their tries and our guys worked really hard.
“But Cleckheaton have been together for a long time now and you can see that in their play.”
Both Sheffield clubs face home games this weekend as they look to get back to winning ways.
Tigers welcome mid-table Leicester Lions to Dore Moor (2pm), whilst Sheffield RUFC welcome Northern to Abbeydale Park (2.15pm) on Saturday for the first of two season-defining games. They visit Alnwick on January 26.