On the back of a 67-3 thrashing of Morley, Huddersfield RU face another West Yorkshire derby against Cleckheaton to extent their eleven-match win streak (kick off 2:15pm).
Gareth Lewis’ side pose the best defensive record within the English Rugby Union National League’s, and only Premiership and European Champions Saracens, who notably have played three games less, have conceded less.
Sitting top of the National North Three with an average of conceding just nine points a game, Lewis has no complaints on his sides defensive efforts, but would like to eliminate the individual efforts despite Huddersfield being the biggest point scorers in the league.
“The result against Morley was pretty good, but the performance needs to be better,” said Lewis. “We made far too many individual errors and the players know they can be better. We’ve had a big focus on set piece this week as it’s such a crucial aspect of our game. We struggled a little to provide the platform consistently last week.”
“However, the guys are in very positive spirits and can’t wait for the Saturday to come around. These are the sort of games that players relish; a local derby in front what will hopefully be a good crowd. We are expecting a very physical contest so it promises to be an exciting afternoon.”
Cleckheaton are 10th and had a good 27-22 away victory against Firwood Waterloo last weekend, just two weeks after impressively beating Billingham on their travels 27-7.
But they haven’t won at home since midway through September which came in a 42-24 victory over Morley.
Lewis has made some changes to his team for the Morley match. Top try scorer Elliot Hodgson moves to the wing for the expense of Danny Grainger, who drops to the bench, as Mark Pease starts at inside centre.
Nick Rhodes also returns to the starting XV after coming on as a substitute last weekend and Frances Entressengle comes in at hooker with Ben Morrill moving to blindside flanker as Lewis Bradley starts on the bench.