By Brandon Reeves
Two sides with identical records face each other at Dore Moor in a Yorkshire derby this weekend when Huddersfield visit Sheffield Tigers.
When seventh plays eighth, Huddersfield go in search of a fourth successive league win in what promises to be an open game judging from recent form.
On average, fifty-one points have been scored in Tigers’ fixtures this season, but a man to watch for Field will be fly half Mark Ireland who was National Two North’s player of the week last week.
Ireland has fifty-six of Tigers’ one hundred and forty-one points to his name from the boot alone.
Sheffield come in to the fixture on the back of a dramatic 25-24 win over Fylde, with Ireland scoring six penalties and a conversion to drag his side to a win.
Gareth Lewis is aware of this and the other threats Sheffield carry.
“Tigers are going well this season and come on the back of an excellent win at Fylde.
“They have a backline to match anything in the league and a potent goal kicker, while having made a few additions to the forward pack so we know it’s going to a very tough game.”
And after last week’s near miss at home to Leicester, Lewis is looking for the Field men to up their game this time out.
“Last week’s performance was poor, particularly around the contact area. The lads have worked hard to address this in training and we are looking forward to this weekend” he added.
Skipper Dickie Piper returns at number eight and player of the month Nick Sharpe moves back into the second row. Harry Whitfield is passed fit following injury in the warm up before the Lions game.
Elliot Knight returns from facial injury to the starting lineup. Liam Parfitt misses out with back injury meaning Bob Sykes starts for the first time in the back row.
Rest of League preview:
Hinckley are fast becoming the team to beat at the league summit as they host local rivals South Leicester who have also made a promising start.
Sedgley Park, runners up last year, are taking up familiar ground in second place after five games this time out. They face another Leicester outfit in the shape of winless Lions.
While Chester’s fixture to Tynedale was called off, they are the only other side in the league aside from Hinckley who have won all of their games. They travel to Peterborough Lions who have struggled to adapt to life in the league since their promotion.
Hull Ionians search for an immediate return to National One sees them host Stourbridge after a win at Wharfedale last time out and four wins from five currently has them third.
Macclesfield prop up the table with a single point from their games, they host an Otley side going in search of a third consecutive victory.
Despite Tynedale’s recent health concerns, their fixture against Fylde is to go ahead as they look to get a first win of the season under their belts.
Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Arthur Wilkinson, Lewis Workman, Will Milner, Elliot Knight, Mark Pease, Jack Maplesden; Reuben Pollard, Fran Entressengle, Harry Whitfield Matt Dunn, Nick Sharpe, Bob Sykes, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper (C)
Replacements: Adam Blades, Ross Thornton, Mark Chivers, Joe Green, James Davies.