Southend Saxons will be aiming to show they are stronger than their league placing suggests when they host Eton Manor on Saturday.
Manor sit third in the London One North standings, 12 points higher than sixth placed Southend.
But fly-half Ben Lloyd feels Southend are more than capable of matching the top teams in the table.
“There’s no doubt that Eton Manor are a very good outfit this season and where they are in the table clearly reflects that but we’ve also shown how good we can be in spells,” said Lloyd.
“We feel like we’re a better side than we’ve been able to show on a consistent basis.
“The last time we played each other it was a draw at their place and I’m sure they will be well aware of that coming into this one.
“If we perform we’re confident going up against anyone in this league.
“We’re preparing with that kind of belief but we’re well aware we need to produce a performance this Saturday.”
Southend go into the game having triumphed in their last two games.
And Lloyd is relishing being back in action after three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
“It’s great to be back,” said Saxons’ co-captain.
“That was the longest period I’ve had out with injury and it wasn’t easy not being involved.
“The boys and the coaches have been great with me since I’ve been back fit.
“I’ve been able to integrate back into the team pretty quickly and hit the ground running which has been great for me.”
However, it took a lot of hard work for Lloyd to get back on the pitch.
“I ruptured my MCL ligament in my knee in the second game of the season against Thurrock which meant spending 12 weeks on the sidelines,” said Lloyd.
“I was lucky to have a good relationship with Charlotte at Active Body Clinic who guided me through from my scan to being back out on the pitch and I worked really hard on my rehab during that period.
“I came back feeling really sharp and I’m really enjoying being back. “
And Lloyd is now targeting a strong end to the season as Southend bid to close the gap on the top three.
"I really think that anything can happen in this league," said the fly-half.
"Eton Manor’s loss last weekend shows just that and I don’t think anyone expected that result based on the two team’s league positions.
"I wouldn’t write anyone off at this stage or assume the top three are clear.
"There’s a gap in points, and we’ll have to perform consistently from now on in to