MARTIN Poste has said that successive wins have had a transformative effect on his Northwich side at the right time.

They followed a stunning success against league leaders Carlisle with another last weekend, albeit by the most of slender of margins, when they visited Manchester.

It leaves them ninth in North One West.

However a gap to third-placed Waterloo, their guests at Moss Farm this afternoon, is only five points.

“What a difference a win makes,” said the director of rugby.

“The atmosphere has changed, and these boys are right up on their toes again.

“The past fortnight has seen us on a big upward curve from where we were, and that’s exactly what we needed after what has been difficult start to the season.”

There is still work to do.

However a 34-15 success against the Cumbrians, who had won five of their six matches before arriving in town, served as a reminder of what Blacks are capable of.

READ: Northwich 34-15 Carlisle: match report

A narrow 33-32 win at Manchester was hard-earned, but represented a victory against opponents that had beaten them twice last term.

The distance to Carlisle is 10 points, while Douglas will take over top spot if they win a game in hand against Stockport.

Poste told the Guardian he expects Waterloo, a rival over which his team completed a double in the previous campaign, to provide another stern test.

However he agreed that a chance to draw level with the Merseyside outfit in the standings is a huge incentive.

Not only that, four of the other teams in the top six are playing against each other this weekend.

So it’s an opportunity too.

READ: Northwich 20-17 Waterloo: match report

“We’ve fond memories of those games last season,” he added.

“My lads played with so much pride against a side that comes with that heritage and tradition.

“It didn’t daunt us, and it won’t this weekend.

“Their physicality is a challenge we have to face up to, but we’re continuing to improve that part of our game.

“If results so far in this division are a guide, then home form is going to be important if you want to challenge at the top end of the table.

“That’s why it’s a big game for us.”

Martin Balshaw is suspended, while Conor Lapniewski has been unavailable, but Northwich – boosted by the return of Robin Houghton and Will Du Randt to their backs division last weekend – expect to be close to full-strength.

Kick-off later today is at 2.15pm.