Hull match preview
by Patrick Moore
Huddersfield RUFC will be raring to go against Hull.
Gareth Lewis’ side are top of the National Three North after their 100% start to the season and will look to make it five wins from five in the East Riding of Yorkshire this Saturday (3pm).
The Field recorded their first bonus point of the season in the 34-12 win against Billingham last time out with Chris Bell’s late fourth try.
But Lewis knows his side haven’t hit peak form just yet.
“It’s been a good start,” says Lewis. “But it’s important for us to keep our feet on the ground as well. We haven’t had an 80-minute performance yet this season that we’ve been totally satisfied with.”
“We’re pleased with a lot of facets of our game, but there are still areas we need to improve without doubt.”
He’ll also know that a Hull win could see his opponents join Huddersfield on the same points in the table and how difficult it will be to come up trumps against a side who’s also had a strong start to the season.
“We’re going into a different challenge again this weekend and we know we need to step up our level of performance again to put ourselves in a position to get a result against a quality Hull side.”
“Hull have certainly recruited quite heavily and they will be as physical as ever. They always have a good scrum and their driving lineout will be strong. They will always look to take you on at the set-piece and with the physical ball carriers in and behind the scrum they have, the battle of the gain line with or without the ball, will be huge. We will need to meet that physicality head on.”
Hull sit 4th in the table having only having only lost one match and like Huddersfield have one bonus point.
Similar to the Field, they started off the season with a good 15-20 away win against Kendal before beating Billingham at home 30-17.
However, their winning formula came undone against Ilkley as they lost 31-8 but they bounced back with a good 45-17 win at Firwood Waterloo last weekend.
And if you’re into omens, the last time the two sides met Huddersfield were on a four match winning streak, as they are today, and Lewis’ side came out 31-15 winners at Hull.
Huddersfield also won the reverse fixture 26-11 earlier on in that 2014/15 season as they finished a respectable 9th in the National 2 North whilst Hull were relegated.
Lewis, though, insists that a lot has changed since that season.
“A lot has happened in that time as we’ve both dropped down a division,” Lewis explains. “Games are always tough between us and I’m expecting the same this week”.
Captain Alex Battye remains an absent after his head injury in training last Thursday which means Reuben Pollard, who was strong at scrummage against Billingham, retains his place in the starting XV. Fellow prop Adam Tamanis also starts against his former club.
Meanwhile, Mark Pease is still recovering from a groin injury and Joel Hinchliffe is unavailable. Kristian Sharples is available for the Falcons.
Ben Morrill also returns to the bench after 12 months out with injury, and Lewis is very pleased with his incredibly hard work in rehab during his time on the side-lines.
5. A Thompson