LUCTONIANS Head Coach Ryan Watkins is preparing for a nail-biting end to the season after his side closed the gap on a second place play-off spot.

A 22-14 home victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield on Saturday leaves the Lucs seven points behind second place Newport, who lost to leaders Scunthorpe, with seven games remaining.

"There is still quite a bit to play for, a hell of a way to go and I predict quite a close finish," said Watkins.

"I think even Scunthorpe could slip up a bit so no team can relax. If we do relax we could end up finishing sixth, but it really could go down to the last game.

"Second place Newport have to go to Sheffield who are a really tough side to beat and have the best defensive points record in the league.

"If Newport slip up it could open up.

"We need to get bonus points most weeks and have very little room for mistakes."

Luctonians took control from the outset against Sheffield with Aiden Cheshire running over a converted try before Guy Kirkby put them 12-0 ahead at half-time.

Kirkby ran over a second try after the break before Isaac Fanueli sealed the bonus point as Lucs went 20-0 ahead.

Despite Scunthorpe responding with two converted tries the hosts held on for a crucial win.

"It was a really good performance considering the conditions and the opposition in front of us," added Watkins.

"It's the most mature display this season and I was really impressed. The conditions were quite tough in the second half and we were up against a strong wind.

"We defended really well, our decision making was spot on and we controlled possession."