TABLE-TOPPING Southend Saxons take on Thurrock in what looks set to be a pre-Christmas cracker at Warners Bridge tomorrow.

Saxons go into the clash having secured 11 victories in succession while fifth placed Thurrock have won their last five.

And Southend star Blue Newton is relishing the Essex derby between two in-form teams.

“We are looking forward to playing in front of packed Warners Bridge full of festive supporters,” said Newton.

“Thurrock are another good team who themselves are on a bit of a run and looking to challenge the top teams in the league.

“It’s always a bit of physical arm wrestle and confrontational when we play Thurrock, which we would expect with any Essex derby.

“It should be another good game of rugby but we are confident that if we can stick to our processes we should be able to pick up another good result.”

Southend go into the game nine points clear of second placed Woodford.

And Newton was pleased to extend their gap with a hard-fought 34-19 win at Holt last time out.

“Saturday posed a number of different challenges, the weather wasn’t great and it’s a long coach journey up to Holt,” said Newton.

“They’re a decent side that will cause lots of teams problems in this league but that being said it was another pleasing result.

“We were able to manage the game well, stick to our game plan and ultimately come away with another five points win.”

But Newton knows there is still plenty of hard work ahead for the Saxons.

“We’re in a good position and it’s where we would want to be at this stage of the season but we’re not getting carried away as there’s still a lot of rugby to be played,” said Newton.

“Although it’s a bit of a cliche we’re taking it one week at a time and focusing on the different challenges each block of fixtures brings while continually trying to improve our own performances.”