Rugby: Neil Edge says in-form Leek will retain their focus
NEIL Edge insists no-one at Leek is talking about promotion as the Moorlanders head into a battle for third place against Wolverhampton.
Leek are unbeaten in four matches in Midlands Two West (North) and only the top two sides have had the better of them since the middle of November.
A 78-0 thumping of Aston Old Edwardians last weekend catapulted the form side within sight of that leading pair – seven points short of Moseley Oak and 11 off Silhillians.
Now they host former pacesetters Wolves, who sit fourth, one point and one place behind Leek in the standings – and Edge is looking no further than the challenge they present.
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"We are just working hard to better ourselves," said the director of rugby.
"We are in a good position. Last season we finished fifth and the big issue was bonus points.
"We tended to switch off a lot, but our head coach, Ian Gittens, has hammered home the need to carry on playing 'heads-up' rugby when we've got a lead.
"We are not looking at promotion. We take each game as it comes and try to put right things that we didn't do so well in the last match – set-pieces, off-loads, rucks.
"We are not looking at anything apart from improving."
Wolves were being tipped as title contenders before Christmas, but a run of five defeats in their last six league games has seen them surrender pole position.
Their miserable couple of months continued by being knocked out of the Intermediate Cup at the Midlands semi-final stage by Old Laurentians.
Leek's cause is helped by captain and prop Tom Hine reaching full fitness after returning to the fold three weeks ago following a back injury.
"It makes a big difference having the club captain back out on the field," said Edge.
"Wolves have had a dip, but that's one of those things that can happen if you have a couple of key men missing. We've been quite lucky with injuries, touch wood."
Only four fixtures will remain for Leek after this weekend, including an away match at Stafford and home match against Moseley Oak.
However, the club focus does not stop at first-team matters.
Edge said: "We are trying to build a club, trying to get three sides playing good rugby.
"We are just plodding along making sure we do things right.
"If we finish in the top three we'll be delighted, but we want to make sure the second team and the thirds are thriving as well.
"We have a lot of depth and we continue to plan for the future."
STAFFORD produced a passionate performance in defeat against Moseley Oak last time out.
Now they go in search of points to match their endeavour on the trip to mid-table rivals Spartans, who beat Wolves last weekend.
Stafford won the reverse fixture 18-3 in November with tries from Dan Smith and Alex Yamoyamo.