Piper remains focused on Cleck promotion push

Richard Piper streaks away from Harrogate
Richard Piper streaks away from Harrogate

Cleckheaton try machine Richard Piper remains focused on maintaining the side’s charge for promotion back to the national leagues.

The back rower is the North One East’s leading try scorer this season having crossed an incredible 24 times already.

But rather than take the plaudits himself, Piper has heaped praise on his team-mates and believes Cleck have what it takes to finish in the top two and earn a play-off place.

Piper said: “It’s always good to get over the line but it isn’t about me, there are eight guys in front pushing and all I have to do is get the ball down.

“I do get some stick from the lads but it’s great to have that set move in our arsenal and it’s something that Harry (coach Dave Harrison) has worked on.

“If our pack is on form we tend to dominate games and we have proved we can compete at a higher level, having pushed Hull close in two Yorkshire Cup semi-finals.”

Cleckheaton have won their last eight league games to move within three points of second placed Sheffield .

Piper added: “We spoke at Christmas and the belief was there that we could mount a serious push.

“We have concentrated on winning our games and trying to put other sides under pressure in the hope that it would force them into mistakes.

“There is a buzz about the place and there are plenty of lads training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we all stay behind in the club on a Saturday.”

Although Cleckheaton don’t have no game tomorrow, many of the first team will be at Moorend to watch the Kestrels, who will clinch their league title with victory over Ilkley.

That game kicks off at the earlier time of 2.15pm to enable players and supporters to watch the England-Wales Six Nations decider and it could be a real celebratory atmosphere in the clubhouse if the Kestrels have clinched their title.