By Liam Hammond
Following last weekend’s close victory at home to Billingham. Huddersfield travel up the M62 to tackle local rivals Bradford & Bingley, who are led by New Zealand Rugby League legend, Henry Paul.
The last time this fiery rivalry was contested was in last season’s Yorkshire Cup. Huddersfield won the fixture 28 points to Bradford’s 21 but paid a high cost for the victory, losing influential winger Ben Mitchell to a dislocated collarbone.
Bradford go into this fixture off the back of a heavy loss to an impressive Burnage side (46 – 12) but Huddersfield first team manager, Lee Paxman is expecting this weekend’s contest a closely fought affair: “We expect a strong bounce back from Bradford, with it being a local derby we expect a lot of work around the contact, it will be a great game.”
Although Huddersfield are the form side going into this fixture, winning their opening game of the season. They were unsatisfied with their level of performance against Billingham with Paxman promising more from his squad for this week: “We have been heavily critical of our performance against Billingham and need to improve quickly. The squad have been working hard. Hopefully we will be able improve our performance and continue to build.”
The only confirmed change to the starting side for Huddersfield will see vice-captain Alex Battye replaced in the front row by Laurence Sanderson, following a heavy blow to face taken last week against Billingham.
Winger Ben Mitchell is also carrying an injury and is rated at 50/50 as to whether or not he will be able to compete this coming weekend, meaning Bradford old boy Adam Sutcliffe is waiting in the wings to face his old team.
At Lockwood Park this weekend, the Falcons team will face the Bradford 2nd XV looking to bounce back from a narrow defeat at the hands of Wheatley Mills. The game is a 3pm kick off with fans who cannot reach Bradford to support the first XV, encouraged to make the trip to Lockwood Park to support the Falcons. As with every home fixture this season, kids attendance is free of charge.
Huddersfield 1st XV vs Bradford
1. Laurence Sanderson, 2. Ben Morrill, 3. Antony Stringwell, 4. Gavin Rhodes,5. George Hinchliff,6. Gareth Lewis,7. Ben Hoyle,8. Nick Sharpe,9. Joel Hinchliffe,10. Tom Hodson,11. Ben Mitchell, 12. Tom Owen, 13. Michael Clark, 14. Howard Hanks, 15. Elliot Hodgson
16. Alex Battye, 17. Nick Rhodes, 18. Giles Hetherington
Faclons XV vs Bradford 2nd XV
1. Joe Shiel ,2. Taras Santar,3. Takis, 4. Edward Birkhead, 5. James Bodsworth, 6. Gareth Lewis, 7. Dan Western, 8. Henry Ward, 9. Will Brian, 10. Oliver Scrimshaw, 11. Alex Brook, 12. TVR, 13. Adam Sutcliffe, 14. Robbie Wilson, 15. Elliot Knight