AFTER a string of good results, Darlington Mowden Park welcome Richmond to the Arena tomorrow afternoon with the opportunity to climb into the top four in National One.

With just a single point separating the two sides, a win would see Mowden leapfrog their opponents heading into the final eight games of the season.

Bouncing back from three consecutive defeats in late November, Mowden have gone on to take 22 points from the last available 25.

A last-minute defeat at Cinderford has been their only dropped points, and forwards coach Joe Cain has been understandably pleased with his side’s recent form.

He said: “The lads are playing well at the moment. We’ve looked really well-connected in defence and teams haven’t found it easy trying to score against us. That’s six games in a row teams have failed to get try bonus points against us which the lads are getting a kick out of.”

Asked about the catalyst for their recent upturn in form, Cain added: “I think it’s a shift in attitude the lads have shown. We are a young team and the lads are now believing in themselves and realizing they are capable of beating anyone in this league when we put our best foot forward.”

A strength of Mowden's game has been their line-out, with the Darlington side amongst the league leaders in line-out success and steals.

Cain said: "We have spent a lot of time on our set-piece on the training pitch and the forwards have got our drill functioning well at the moment.

"We pride ourselves on our line-out defence whether that’s competing in the air or our maul defence on the floor. Joe Craggs does a great job of leading both aspects of this. Our hookers' throwing has come on no end but that’s not a fluke, we throw for hours during the week to keep ourselves topped up ready for match days.”

Tomorrow's game sees Mowden take on a Richmond side who dropped down from the Championship last year. Rob Powell’s team have claimed a number of impressive away wins this season, and Cain is expecting a tough test.

He said: “Richmond have a fantastic record on the road in National One and have real dangerous players all across the pitch. They move the ball well to width and have a big pack of forwards who carry the ball hard.

"We’ve tried to focus on elements of our game that need touching up this week, making sure we stay connected both sides of the ball and stay in the moment for 80 minutes. It’s great to see prop Matty Siddle get his spot on the bench this week, he’s worked so hard this season and thoroughly deserves his chance this weekend.”

Mowden make three changes to the side that started in the win over Blackheath last weekend, with Oscar Usher and Yaree Fantini making their full returns from injury. Alfie Barron misses his first game in two seasons through injury, with Sam Kyle-Clay deputising in his place at loose-head prop.