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Hep Cahill says Vikings are keeing their feet on the ground
9:42am Friday 15th February 2013 in Sport
VIKINGS back rower Hep Cahill admits the team have to keep their feet on the ground when they head over to Hull KR on Sunday.
Craven Park was the home of last year's 36-0 mauling, but Vikings have turned something of a corner since then.
Even in defeat against St Helens, Cahill admits there has been a huge change in confidence and positive mental attitude amongst the current crop of players.
He said: "The lads performed really well, and we all came off the field immensely proud of our collective efforts despite the scoreline not being in our favour.
"Saints are a really tough outfit to face and possess some talented individuals. So, the fact that we managed to contain them with 11 players shows we're fighting for one another and not backing down when things don't go our way, by contrast to last season, where we couldn't string a run of performances together and frequently tired after the hour mark.
"Denis has instilled a renewed sense of competition for places through some of the recent signings which pushes each individual player to perform to their maximum level each week, or they'll be dropped - that's for certain!"
The loose forward also pinpointed recent acquisition and England International Gareth Hock as a major influence on current team morale.
"Gareth is a fantastic professional, but his presence on the training ground alone has really galvanised the squad to up the intensity in their performance. He rarely has to say anything, he lets his rugby do the talking and the lads respond to his sheer level of enthusiasm and commitment to the cause," he said.
However, the Vikings number 13 admits that the squad are not getting too over excited with their current level of performance, and have their feet well and truly on the ground ahead of the clash with Hull KR.
Cahill said: "As a unit, we're very wary of the threats that this week's opponents have in their armoury, and with Michael Dobson attempting to control proceedings with his incisive movement of the ball, we'll have to be alert for the entirety of the game, or else we'll get punished.
"Having said that, our squad is improving all the time, and we have more than enough firepower to match them man for man across the field, so we're ready for a tight affair.
"We've undertaken extensive preparation for the game alongside each other as well as the coaching staff and have analysed a number of DVD's of Hull KR to identify the areas in which we can expose their defensive line, as well as the obvious strengths we'll face come Sunday afternoon."
Cahill cast his mind back to this time last season at Craven Park, "Well, last year we underperformed at Craven Park, and came away massively disappointed. The frustrations were reinforced through the appalling weather conditions, which are the worst I've ever experienced as a professional.
"We obviously cannot guarantee a result every week, but if we continue to improve week on week, hopefully we can give our away following something to shout about," he said.