CLUB captain Matt Hughes has applauded Kirkby Lonsdale’s resilience after his side once again asserted their defensive prowess during Saturday’s win over Vale of Lune.

Before claiming victory, the Underley Park side endured periods of pressure against Vale – with Kirkby only conceding a miserly 18 points in their last two games.

And with back-to-back successes in the bag – a campaign’s first – Hughes believes Kirkby’s last two results demonstrate their standing on the rugby scene.

“The defence this season has been key and apart from the Widnes game we have not conceded a lot of points,” he said.

“We have worked hard on our defence and our defensive organisation. We do plenty of contact work in training, particularly on a Tuesday evening, and it is paying off at the minute.

“We’ve done well to hold out against Vale and Kendal who are two big and well-organised sides. By beating our derby rivals, these last two results show our progression.

“We had a lot of lads back from university at the start of the season and some new lads came in and all have bought into what John Pickthall wants to do.

“They’re enjoying their rugby and training again as well as what is happening on a Saturday and that shows in our results.”

Kirkby’s home form continues to thrive with the Vale triumph making it an impressive seven wins on the spin at Underley Park dating back to early November.

But with only one win on their travels so far this season, Kirkby’s results on the road require some attention, something Hughes hopes can be addressed this weekend at lowly Leigh.

“We can win at home and seem to be putting in good performances and getting something from games against teams around us or above us,” he added.

“Yet we struggle when we go to teams we are expected to beat and that is something which needs sorting before the end of the season.

“We don’t want to be the first team Leigh beat at home so we’re looking for the win.”