By L Hammond
Huddersfield could overtake Rossendale at the top of National 3 North with victory over Penrith.
Last weekend saw Huddersfield bounce back from a disappointing performance at home to Sale with a convincing bonus point victory away at Morley. That bonus point win places Huddersfield five points behind league leaders Rossendale and if results go their way, Huddersfield could reach the top of the league standings for the first time this season.
If Huddersfield do finish the weekend in first position, the result would mark a remarkable turnaround for the club who only managed two victories in total last season.
Penrith are currently ninth in National 3 North and in their opening four fixtures only managed to secure points for two draws, also losing two fixtures. Last weekend saw Penrith register their first victory this season against Burnage and Huddersfield manager Lee Paxman is well aware of the challenge a confident Penrith could pose: “They will be looking to make it two from two and get their first away win. We know unless we perform they will cause us lots of problem.”
Huddersfield make several changes to their staring XV to face Penrith. The impressive Ben Morrill returns at hooker. Morrill missed the fixture against Sale with a back injury but has passed a fitness test to be available for this week. Morill has cemented himself as one of the key players in Huddersfield’s Firxt XV with several destructive performances this season and his presence will only strengthen their push for top spot.
After an impressive substitute appearance against Morley, George Hinchcliff replaces Nick Rhodes in the second row, who himself drops to the bench. Giles Hetherington replaces Adam Sutcliffe on the wing and Falcon George Hunt make the step up to the bench. Hunt who normally represents Leek RFC has joined the club after stand-out performances for Huddersfield University.
This weekend will also see the Huddersfield Falcons side travel to Pontefract to face their second XV. The Falcons registered a sensational victory against Morley 2nd XV last week scoring and emphatic 63 – 0. The Falcons have now registered four wins in a row and manager Lee Paxman is demanding they keep their high standards of performance: “We are looking for the Falcons to build on last week’s performance and get on a roll to Christmas. The coach’s Bob and Phil are providing a real spark to the squad and the high performance of the Falcons team is essential for the success of the first XV.”
Kick-off at Lockwood Park is 3pm for the First XV fixture. Admittance for minors is free for the match and for all First XV fixtures throughout the season. Anyone who cannot attend the match at Lockwood Park is encouraged to travel and support the Falcons in Pontefract which is also a 3pm kick off.