CAPTAIN Robbie Stapley believes Rams must forget their recent record against Sale when they return to National One action at Old Bath Road on Saturday (3pm).

His second-placed side, who have picked up six straight bonus-point victories to move level on points with Chinnor, have lost their past five matches to The Dogs, including a 29-17 setback earlier in the season.

But as they seek to right that wrong, the skipper said: “Thinking about the past five results would be the worst thing to do.

“We need to approach it like any other week, improve again on the past six games and not over-think it – enter it with a clear mind and focus on the things which we can control.”

And he believes it is this mindset which has borne fruit since the turn of the year, continuing: “Things are going well and each week we’ve set ourselves a goal of improving and impressing the coaches – if they’ve set us something we want them to say on the Tuesday (after the game): ‘You really made a difference.’

“Each week we’re improving on the week before, taking on the things we’ve got better on and adding more – our maul defence from the start of the year has been much better, our defensive communication has been awesome in the last three weeks and there are other things as well.”

Rams are locked in a thrilling title race for the second campaign in a row – edged out to the title by Cambridge on most draws last time out – and Stapley admitted: “I feel there’s less pressure on us this time, and learning from what happened to us last year, you know it can all change right at the last minute.

“I don’t think you can even rule out third or fourth place – with six games to go it’s all to play for.”

Three of those matches are at Old Bath Road, with Blackheath and Richmond visiting after Sale, and the No. 8 – who is still hopeful of picking up two tries to reach a century – is hopeful of some bumper support to roar his side on.

He ended: “With the weather getting better it should naturally pick up and it would be great to get big crowds for the last three.

“It’s lovely after the game when you come off and see loads of people around engaging with everybody – whether you know them or not everybody wants to talk to you, and the only problem is I then have to run around with my kids!”