Firwood Waterloo preview (A)
Huddersfield RU will be raring to go as they aim to make it 18 wins in a row when they face Firwood Waterloo on Saturday (Kick off 2:15pm).
Following a 31-7 success over Hull last time out, Gareth Lewis’ side travel to Liverpool revitalised after a weekend off as they look to make an immediate return to National North Two.
And the head coach has made some key changes to the unbeaten team. Youngster Harvey Keighley-Payne, who played a part in the Yorkshire Cup victory over Sheffield earlier on in the season and has caught Lewis’ eye with fantastic displays for the Falcons, makes his first start in the league for the Field as open-side flanker. Lewis explained:
“Harvey has worked incredibly hard since joining us in the off season and has been one of the stand out players in the Falcons every week. I’ve every confidence he’ll make the step up.”
Meanwhile, Adam Tamanis returns from a calf injury as prop after months out on the side-line. Nick Rhodes also starts in the second row alongside Adam Malthouse as Austen Thompson drops to the bench with Alex Battye and Elliot Knight. Lewis added:
“Adam has worked hard in rehab and it’s great that we can rotate our props around giving him game time once again. All the props have been excellent in recent games.”
The Field will be even more spurred on as Rossendale dropped a bonus point in last weekend’s 19-17 victory against Cleckheaton, which has meant Lewis’ side are still 12 points clear at the top of National North Three. Lewis said:
“The challenge for the lads is to constantly recreate the momentum to put in good performances. With frequent break’s it’s not ideal, but it does mean we are fresh, relatively injury free and looking forward to Saturday’s game at Firwood Waterloo. This week we’ve given real focus on areas we thought we could improve on when we played Hull.”
In the reverse fixture, Huddersfield produced a stunning 85-14 victory at Lockwood Park in one of their best performances of the season– with lead talisman Elliot Hodgson racking up an incredible 6 tries that afternoon.
Since then, Firwood Waterloo have managed to put a few wins on the board as they look to escape trouble. They ended a 6 match lose streak when they won 15-13 at home against Ilkley last weekend, and although they’ve only won two at home (and three all season), Lewis knows his side cannot afford to be complacent on the Merseyside territory.
“Firwood Waterloo got a great result against Ilkey last time out so they will no doubt have increased confidence and as a result, we will not be taking them lightly. We must impose ourselves on the game early and make sure we play with tempo, accuracy and physicality.”
15. Lewis Workman
14. Danny Granger
13. Elliot Hodgson
12. Tom Owen
11. Brandon Conway
10. Chris Bell
9. Joel Hinchliffe
8. Nick Sharpe (captain)
7. Harvey Keighley – Payne
6. Lewis Bradley
5. Nick Rhodes
4. Adam Malthouse
3. Reuben Pollard
2. Fran Entresangle
1. Adam Tamanis