Huddersfield RU face their biggest test of the season in a mouth-watering top of the table clash against Rossendale (kick off: Saturday 3pm).
The Field return to Lockwood Park six points ahead of their second placed opponents after making it twelve wins from twelve against Cleckheaton last weekend, and head coach Gareth Lewis, well-aware that a win for the Lancashire side could put them within a point of the league leaders, has called for ruthlessness from his unbeaten team.
“We want to be absolutely brutal up front so there is no Rossendale player left standing at the end of the game,” said Lewis. “We must have a dominant set-piece, strangulating defence and the ability to be ruthless in attack.”
The club are urging people to get down and cheer on the lads as they hope to extend their remarkable unbeaten run, and with the two sides form currently accumulating to twenty-two wins in a row, it promises to be an unmissable game of rugby.
“We are expecting a huge contest between the two forms sides in the competition. They have a very strong squad, packed full of experience so we know how good they will be. However, if we play to our potential I fully believe we can come out on top.”
Huddersfield have the best points scored, least points against and the best point difference in the league, but Rossendale have one more try bonus point and are in buoyant moods themselves after an 89-12 win against Firwood Waterloo.,
Mark Nelson’s side haven’t lost since the opening two fixtures of the season. They kicked off with a narrow opening day of the season loss to Wirral at home before Lymm were 36-18 victors, but since then have been unstoppable, and have only failed to score more than four tries just once in their ten straight wins.
The last, and only, times the two sides met came in the 2013/14 season when Huddersfield won the National North Three title. Huddersfield beat Rossendale at Marl Pits Lane 21-13, but lost 13-14 at home thanks to a late converted try, meaning Rosendale have won on their only visit at Lockwood Park.
After facing numerous selection headaches, Lewis has made some changes to his Huddersfield team.
Captain Alex Battye returns in the forward line after playing with the Falcons alongside Adam Malthouse, who scored a hat-trick in their 40-0 thrashing of Cleckheaton’s second team, and the latter has been called in at number eight.
Following illness, Elliot Hodgson will return on the wing for the Field and Lewis Bradley also returns to the team.
Lewis explains: “It was an extremely tough call leaving someone like Ben Morrill on the bench as he’s beginning to get back to his best, but he will come off the bench and will be looking to make a huge impact.”
“I thought Lewis Bradley changed the tempo of the game against Cleckheaton due to his ability to beat the first defender and generate quick ball.”