By Brandon Reeves
Huddersfield’s winning run that has seen them have the top spot in National League Two North within tantalising grasp takes them to Tynedale Park this weekend.
Tynedale’s home near the River Tyne has been rather good to them this season, they have won their last six on home territory and lost just once.
That impressive home form entails wins over both Chester and Fylde who are challenging at the top around the Lockwood men.
And their start to 2019 had been going perfectly well until Fylde stopped a three-game winning streak in the league last week when they swept them aside with a 31-5 result at the Woodlands Memorial Ground.
Field should expect a team wanting to bounce back.
But Huddersfield are a side who have proven to be well equipped with the rigours of the National League this season.
Especially in the past two weeks where they’ve been under early pressure in games and had to come from behind to secure the win at Leicester and then when Sheffield Tigers came to visit.
Field are in form, none more so than captain Dickie Piper who has weighed in with tries in recent weeks and Lewis Workman has rediscovered his scoring touch from the wing.
But that’s not to disparage the value of the team unit to the potential title tilt. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and enjoying playing alongside one another, reflected by three bonus wins on the trot in a five match winning streak.
Head Coach Gareth Lewis says the trip will be a stern examination of his side’s credentials.
“This will be one of the biggest tests of the season.
“It’s one of the longest journeys and they have only been beaten once all season, by the league leaders and that was back in September.
“We enjoy these tough encounters though, and providing we play to our potential and improve on last week we know we are a tough team to beat.”
The side which is set to start up at Tynedale sees three changes all in, not to mention the welcome expected return of Tom Owen to the replacements following a long time on the sidelines.
Elliot Knight comes in on the wing with Kian Stewart on Yorkshire duty, he replaces academy graduate Elliott Spiers who made a first start last week.
Adam Blades is back into the front row for Reuben Pollard while Joe Green rotates in for Jack Maplesden at number nine.
Field’s closest competitors are all in action after a round of differing fortunes. Fylde and Chester both had wins and each have away games at Peterborough and Hinckley respectively. Hull fell to a defeat but face South Leicester at Brantingham Park.
With the current cold snap causing a few issues, the match will be subject to a pitch inspection to see if the Tynedale pitch has thawed out enough for the game to take place.
Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Elliot Knight, Mark Pease, Will Milner, Lewis Workman, Chris Johnson, Joe Green; Harry Whitfield, Fran Entressengle, Adam Blades, Guy Borrowdale, Matt Dunn, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper ( C ).
Replacements: Reuben Pollard, Ross Thornton, Bob Sykes, Jack Maplesden, Tom Owen