After opening 2017 with a big win against Billingham, Huddersfield RU will look to maintain their unbeaten run at Lockwood Park against Hull on Saturday (3pm kick off).
The Field have won an unprecedented 16 matches in a row in the National North Three and are 11 points clear of second placed Rossendale. Last week’s 47-7 away victory was another push in the right direction for Gareth Lewis’ side as they look to bounce back to National 2 North, yet he still believes his side can get better despite their unstoppable form. He said:
“Last week’s results was obviously very pleasing, but there are aspects of our game we need to improve ahead of this Saturday. I was really pleased with how our defence remained strong, particularly when we were reduced to 14 men.”
Meanwhile Hull, who sit 4th, are on the back of an impressive run of their own as they head into the clash.
They pose nine try bonus points – just two less than the Field’s – and beat Firwood Waterloo 34-8 last weekend to keep up their promotion chase. They are also on an impressive five match winning streak and have only lost two away matches all season which came in a 31-8 defeat to Ilkley and narrow 32-18 loss to Wirral.
And although his side are again strong favourites, Lewis knows that it will be a tough encounter in their first home game in the New Year.
“Hull came at us strong over there. They carried hard, were aggressive in the tackle and competed hard at the breakdown. We are expecting the same again and certainly will not be taking them lightly.”
Huddersfield beat Hull 45-10 back at the beginning of October thanks to two tries from Callum Thompson and one each from Austen Thompson, Dan Jeffrey, Lewis Bradley and Brandon Conway.
The last time the two sides met at Lockwood Park was in the 2014/15 season when the home side ran out 26-11 winners as they finished 9th in National North Two whilst Hull were relegated.
Lewis has made some changes to his unbeaten side. Ben Morrill is unavailable so Ben Hoyle comes in at blind-side flanker as Lewis Bradley switches open-side flanker. Elliot Knight comes in on the bench.
Adam Malthouse also replaces Nick Rhodes in the second row. Lewis explained his decisions:
“We have a number of lads unavailable for different reasons so our resources are being stretched, particularly in the back line. This is why it’s so important to have depth in the squad. The 18 lads involved are all quality rugby players and will give it everything once again.”
It’s a massive contrast to how the Field headed into their first game at home last year and shows just how far the club have come in the space of twelve months, and it’s something Lewis hopes to show to sporting fans in Huddersfield.
“We have had a fantastic start to this season and right now there’s a huge buzz around the place, it really is a brilliant time to be involved at the club. Over the last few home games we’ve had some great crowds who have witnessed fantastic stuff (one of those being Elliot Hodgson’s try which is up for England Rugby Union try of the month), and I’d love to see the place full again. We would urge everyone to come down and enjoy what promises to be a great afternoon of rugby.”
Great team try against Hull this weekend.
From a scrum in front of our own sticks, the ball gets played out to @kian_stewart11 who makes a great break. 🏃🏼💨
The ball is recycled and makes it to @MilnerWill who grubbers through for Arthur Wilkinson to gather and dot down.