LEOPARDS coach Dejan Mihevc is looking forward to facing Leeds Carnegie for the first time this season at the Basildon Sporting Village on Sunday.

Leopards go in to the game on the back of seven successive league triumphs.

But Mihevc knows it will be tough to keep the good run going, despite Leeds sitting 10th in the standings.

“Leeds are the only team that we haven’t played yet this season and we know that their real strength is not shown in the table” said Mihevc.

“They have a good team, especially in the last period where they’re playing better and better.

“Two weeks ago they beat Bradford and last week they almost won against Bristol so we for sure know that the only way is to take them 100 percent seriously.”

Leopards’ recent good form has taken them to seventh in the table.

And they still have at least four games in hand on all of the sides above them.

Mihevc is therefore keen to maintain the momentum his players have started to gather and he is also looking forward to returning to Basildon for a second time.

“I am sure that when we play in Basildon, there will be plenty of fans there to help us win,” said Mihevc.

“We are really grateful for all the support that we get from them and our fans in Brentwood who have been a big reason for our success.”

Rayleigh based Joe Lockwood is also excited about returning to Basildon.

But the 17-year-old former FitzWimarc School pupil faces a race against time to be fit for the clash as he is currently struggling with back and knee problems.

“They’re niggling injuries which need to be rested so that more serious problems don't arise and so I can get back to playing and training as quick as possible,” said Lockwood.

“However hopefully I can still play at the weekend because our game against Leeds should be good and I know we can get the result we want from the game.

“Basildon is a great venue to play at, it is big and very impressive on arrival and it has the potential to hold a great atmosphere when it’s full up.

“It was unfortunate that our first game there was hindered by the snowfall.

“But hopefully more people will be there at the weekend and we can get a win to keep them happy."

The match tips off at 4pm on Sunday, with tickets available on the door.