By L Hammond
Head coach Gareth Lewis is confident of his sides bounce back ability following last week’s disappointing loss to Rossendale.
Huddersfield lost the match by a single point and by losing failed to overthrow Rossendale who remain at the top of league standings.
Despite the loss, the player/coach believes there were positives to be taken from the result: “Last week was obviously a bitter pill to swallow but this group of players is not only physically strong but also mentally strong and they will come out of the blocks firing at 3pm on Saturday.”
This week will see Huddersfield make the short journey to local rivals Sandal and with local bragging rights up for grabs; Lewis believes the match could be a fiery affair: “It will be a tough contest in all aspects of the game. These types of games always have a more physical edge and that is what we are expecting come Saturday.”
Although local rivalries often offer a step up in physicality purely because of the two sides geographical locality to each other and the desire to earn the right to call yourself the best team in your area. The added spice with this local derby is that former Huddersfield Director of Rugby and firm club favourite Mark Sowerby is currently the forwards coach at Sandal.
First Team Manager Lee Paxman believes his side need to be at their best to tackle a side coached by Sowerby: “Sandal are a very strong side and we know the qualities Mark can bring as a coach, his side will be well prepared and will need to perform”.
Huddersfield have made only one change from the team that lost to Rossendale last week. Hard working centre Tom Owen returns from an injury to reclaim a starting place in the first XV. Owen will be partnered by Ben Mitchell who shifts from inside to outside centre. Michael Clark moves to the wing with Jack Moon returning to the bench.
With Huddersfield claiming a bonus point last week they remain one point ahead of third placed Stockport but First Team Manager Paxman understands how vital it is to get points on the board before the harsher winter months set in: “We want to get back to winning ways, we were disappointed with how we didn’t capitalise on the opportunities we were presented and this week we will be looking to do that.”
Huddersfield travel to Sandal with the match a 2:15pm kick-off. At Lockwood Park the Falcons side face their own top of the table clash against Old Brodlians. Whoever emerges the winning side will claim top spot in the league standings. The kick off at Lockwood Park will be 2:15pm and all people who cannot attend the away fixture at Sandal are encouraged to travel to Lockwood Park and support the Falcons. As for every match this season, under 16s admittance is free.
First XV vs Sandal
1.Alex Battye, 2. Ben Morrill, 3. Anthony Stringwell, 4. Gavin Rhodes, 5. George Hinchliff, 6. Gareth Lewis,7. Ben Hoyle, 8. Nick Sharpe,9. Joel Hinchliffe, 10. Tom Hodson, 11. Michael Clark, 12. Tom Owen, 13. Ben Mitchell, 14. George Hunt, 15. Elliot Hodgson
16. Nick Rhodes, 17. Laurence Sanderson, 18. Jack Moon
Falcons XV vs Old Brodleans
1. D. Bosworth, 2. J. Sheil, 3. Takis, 4. E. Birkhead, 5. G. Lewis Jnr, 6. B. Sykes, 7. H. Ward,
8. R. Thornton, 9. W. Brian, 10. C. Duffy, 11. E. Knight, 12. Thomas Van Rooyan, 13. T. Andrews, 14. A. Sutcliffe, 15. O. Scrimshaw
16. R. Baggs, 17. D. Chappell, 18. B. Dempsey, 19. B. Royds, 20. J. Bryson