Sheffield Tigers have the best defensive record in the division - and young open side flanker Lee Monks is determined to ensure that continues.
Monks wants Tigers to secure a promotion place after helping the defensive line in the side’s impressive 39-0 over Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday.
That was the Tigers’ ninth victory in a row and this week, Monks - named man of the match against Huddersfield - is confident that his Dore Moor-based side will get a winning result away at league strugglers Morley, whilst conceding as few points as possible.
The Sheffield side can take great confidence into the game after scoring six tries in their last match - including four from top try scorer Henri Packard.
They also hammered their opponents 31-0 in the reverse fixture in November and Monks, aged 19, said: “The team’s defence was crucial to winning on Saturday because it meant that we dominated in each area of the pitch and were able to set the play up for attacking phases of the game.
“Everything clicked and our communication was spot on - we knew exactly where players would be on the pitch and everybody’s work rate set us apart, we definitely have the fittest team in the league.
“Morley’s ground will be difficult to play because of the quality of the pitch but we mustn’t let that bring our play down. We have to make sure we get the win, and bonus points if possible.
“We have to make sure that the defence is solid so each player sticks to their individual job and then we build the play from a solid base. The defence has been key to so many of our wins this season so it cannot slip now.”
Tigers sit third in National Three, on 92 points after 23 games, and have narrowed the gap on second placed Sandal to just three points.
Monks, the youngest player in the Tigers’ team, will make his seventh appearance in the starting line-up against Morley and is aiming to keep improving in the final matches of the side’s league campaign.
“It has been tough breaking through but I’ve made sure to always keep my work rate up and learn and listen from coaches and players advice,” he said.
“I want to keep getting better in each game and we really can grasp promotion if we keep our confidence and momentum going.”
Across the city, Sheffield RUFC continue to show great resilience in the closely fought title race as they hung onto a 27-17 away victory against Driffield last Saturday.
The Abbeydale Park side’s 19th win of the season leaves them top of the North One East, where they have resided for the majority of the season, on 91 points after 23 games, but just a point above league rivals Ilkley.
The blue and whites still face a further tricky three games - starting with sixth placed Pocklington at home this weekend.
They beat Pocklington 26-0 in the return fixture, and complete their season by facing third placed Percy Park and West Hartlepool.
Adam Byron, the head coach, said: “We haven’t lost at home this season, but to think we’ve already got the win in the bag is stupid.
“The title will be lost and won in the next performances.
“Staff and players are taking one game at a time and our defence is the key to the title as when that goes right the team fills with confidence.”