ROCHFORD Hundred host Westcliff in a crunch local derby tomorrow.

Rochford sit one place and one point above bottom of the table Westcliff in Regional One South East.

And Rochford head coach Danny Cleare knows that makes this weekend’s clash extremely important.

“Saturday is massive for both clubs,” said Cleare.

“I think at the start of the season both teams would have thought they’d be at the other end of the table competing rather than scrapping for relegation.”

However, Rochford head into the showdown having suffered seven defeats in succession.

And selection issues have made it tough going for Hundred.

“I hate to make excuses with injuries but it is a big factor of where we are,” said Cleare.

“We’ve not had a consistent team all year and we’ve been missing some big players for large parts of the season so far.

“But we welcome back a few players this weekend which is important for us.

“They’re some of the more senior boys that don’t just bring quality but experience and leadership as well.”

And Cleare is hopeful that can prove key in such a big game.

“The game is huge,” said Cleare.

“Going into Christmas bottom of the table and losing to a rival would be a tough pill to swallow.

“But Westcliff have really picked up as of late and seem to have turned a corner.

“We know their squad well and they do have certain players of real quality that can hurt you from anywhere.

“But we’ve had the better of things in recent history and with home advantage and a large crowd I’m sure we can get the job done and then enjoy Christmas that little bit more.”

However, Westcliff head into the game in superior form to their hosts having triumphed twice in their last four outings.

And skipper Greg Bannister is keen to secure another win in an important local derby.

“It’s maybe the biggest game in recent years because of where we both are in the table,” said Bannister.

“But at the end of the day it’s two clubs in the same area so it will always be a big game “It’s always tough and with the weather being pants this week it will present a different challenge to one we played them with last time but it’s one we are looking forward too.

“They have beaten us the last few times so momentum is probably with them in this fixture but it’s a game of rugby at the end of the day so we will see what happens.”