Rangers get a stern warning

New Rangers coach, Alex Muff
New Rangers coach, Alex Muff

BRIGHOUSE Rangers player-coach Alex Muff, is happy with his side’s unbeaten start to the season, but admits complacency probably set in on Saturday’s visit to West Bowling.

Although Rangers won comfortably in the end, they did not play to the standards he set them for this season.

“When you are one of only two teams undefeated in the division, yours is the scalp everyone wants.

“So having confidence and the right attitude is great, but never underestimate your opponents,” Muff told players after the Pennine ARL Division Two game.

Rangers are nearly up to full strength for both of their open age sides, with the exception of ex-Halifax hooker Stuart Proctor, who broke down in training last week.

But such is the quality in depth, the likes of Ross Young and Jamie Barraclough have stepped in and shown what a good squad Rangers have this season.

Muff takes his charges over to Halifax rivals Illingworth on Saturday (2pm).

Although Illingworth have been struggling this season, their results have been improving recently so a tight game can be expected.

Former Illingworth player Mathew Dawson returns to the Rangers squad this weekend with experienced Wayne Jowett, and must be looking forward to facing his old teammates.

Competition is getting stronger now, which also makes the second team strong as well.

Assistant coach Craig Young would like to see more at training although numbers are still good.

“To become a good side training is imperative, and when game time comes it shows who has and hasn’t been training,” he said.

Rangers’ reserve team welcome top of table Queensbury A to Russell Way on Saturday (2pm).

Although last week’s Division Five loss away to Whitehall Warriors was an improvement, coach Dave Barnes is disappointed having recorded back-to-back defeats.

Rangers again will have a strong squad with Richard Flynn and Mark Vento playing with the seconds to gain match fitness, and providing stiff competition for places this week.

Barnes emphasises what Young said: “Again training is a must so we can put together our game plan and add that extra fitness as the pitches get heavier.

“Queensbury, despite their lofty position, again are an unknown quantity, but Rangers are very hard to beat in their own back yard,” said Barnes.

“On Saturday my players need to step up to the plate and bounce back.

“As players they are not happy about their recent performances, and what better way to respond by toppling the league leaders.”

The Rangers commitee, staff and players have expressed thanks to long time kit man and fund-raiser Brian Hinchcliffe.

“Brian, who does his work down at the club with no questions asked and is always keen to help out, goes into hospital for an operation on Friday and hopes to be back in harness in six weeks,” said Barnes.