By L Hammond
Table-topping Huddersfield ensured their unbeaten record stretched to eight matches as they secured a hard fought draw away to fellow promotion contenders Sale.
That draw meant that Field extended their lead at the top of the National Three North to seven points coming into this weekend’s fixture against Morley.
‘Field’s eight match unbeaten run stretches back to beginning of November and includes seven wins. Their impressive run of form saw them secure first place in league before cementing their status as league leaders but the impressive run of form has come at a cost.
Last weekend saw influential centre Tom Owen sustain a knee strain which will rule him out for up to a month. Owen joins Ben Morrill, Player/Coach Gareth Lewis, Laurence Sanderson and Luke Booth on the clubs long term injury list.
Although with the injury list becoming more extensive, Field First Team Manager Lee Paxman has faith in his squad players to make the step up: “We have a fairly extensive injury list but the squad is still holding up. Tom Owen got injured last week but that gave an opportunity to Thomas Van Rooyan who came on and played a massive part in us securing the draw.”
Van Rooyan who is affectionately known as ‘TVR’ retains his place in the starting XV to face Morley this weekend. Vice-Captain Alex Battye also returns to squad, joining Gareth Lewis Jnr and Will Brian on the bench.
Morley arrive at Lockwood in fine form after registering an impressive five match un-beaten run of their own. The last time the two sides met, Huddersfield won a highly physical affair and Manager Paxman is expecting another tight affair: “Morley have made massive improvements over the past few weeks and they will arrive here with plenty of optimism. Last time we played them they were highly physical at the breakdown and we’ll be expecting more of the same.”
The match is a 2:15pm kick off this weekend at Lockwood Park and as for any fixture all under 16’s can attend the match for free. This weekend also sees the Huddersfield Falcons travel to face Morley 2nd XV and the Huddersfield Academy travel to face local rivals Cleckheaton.
Huddersfield 1st XV vs Morley
1. Antony Stringwell, 2. James Davies, 3. Edward Birkhead, 4. Gavin Rhodes, 5. Nick Rhodes
6. Bob Sykes, 7. Ben Hoyle, 8. Nick Sharpe (c), 9. Joel Hinchliffe, 10. Giles Hetherington, 11. Michael Clark, 12. Thomas Van Rooyen, 13. Ben Mitchell, 14. Elliot Hodgson, 15. Tom Hodson
Subs: 16. Alex Battye, 17. Gareth Lewis Jr, 18. William Brian