On the back of six consecutive league wins, Huddersfield RU turn their focus to the Yorkshire Cup on Saturday as they host Sheffield at Lockwood Park.
Gareth Lewis’ side face the South Yorkshire outfit with both sitting top of their respective National III leagues, North and Midlands .
And Huddersfield are urging people to turn up and support the entertaining Huddersfield side, especially as matchday prices have been reduced to £5 for all adults (inclusive of programme), while it’s free for Under 16s.
With Huddersfield Town facing Sheffield Wednesday the day after, it’s a double derby weekend treat and Lockwood Park officials are hoping for a bumper crowd.
See our picture gallery from the win over Firwood Waterloo:
The Cup assignment is one to whet the appetite says Field coach Lewis.
“Last week’s performance was obviously very pleasing,” said Lewis, reflecting on the 85-14 demolition of Firwood Waterloo.
“I thought the line breaks and support lines led to some excellent tries.
“We were pretty clinical for 80 minutes, so it was a good team performance.
“This week is a much bigger challenge though. Sheffield have made a very good start and have some outstanding individuals within their squad.”
The Yorkshire Cup began in 1878, the oldest ever rugby knockout cup competition, and Huddersfield were a founding member.
Huddersfield have twice had their name engraved on the trophy, the first triumph coming in 1890.
The club which won that then broke away from the Rugby Football Union in 1895 and joined the new Northern Rugby Football Union.
That then became the forerunner of the present Rugby League and the club eventually evolved into the present-day Huddersfield Giants.
The second, and first for the new Union club, came in 2011 when they beat Hull 25-18 in a thrilling final at York.
Several of the present team played in that match, and Lewis would love to recreate another special day for Huddersfield.
He said: “We intend to approach the Yorkshire Cup fully focused.
“There are still a few lads in the current group who were part of the winning team from 2011 – James Davies, Alex Battye, Ben Morrill, Nick Sharpe, Joel Hinchliffe, Tom Owen and myself were all involved, so we all know what it’s like. It was great for the club.”
The Field have won all their six league games so far but host a team who have yet to lose away.
In any other season, this would have been a regular league fixture as Sheffield finished a respectable seventh in the National III North last season.
However, they volunteered to be level transferred to the Midlands because they thought it would be an easier promotion route to the National II North.
See our picture gallery from the win over Doncaster Phoenix:
Currently leading National III Midlands on 24 points, they’ve lost just once this season – meaning the cup match will be a clash of the best at this level in the country.
Sheffield started the season with two away wins as they overcame Bridgnorth 14-6 before beating Broadstreet 23-10.
Their form, however, was undone with an 18-12 home defeat to current second-placed Derby, but they were soon back on track as they impressively beat Lichfield 28-17 away.
Sheffield have since found their home form this month as they beat Longton 50-29 before a 56-28 win against Nuneaton, so they head into the cup match off back-to-back five-point wins.
Lewis has made changes.
Tom Kanouros makes his first appearance of the season after impressive displays for the Falcons, while New Zealand centre Ben Harris makes his debut for Huddersfield as Tom Owen drops to the bench.
Callum Thompson and Ben Morrill start as props while captain Alex Battye continues to recover from a head injury.
There’s also a potential debut for Yorkshire Under 20 back rower Harvey Keighley-Payne, who signed for the club from Old Rishworthians, as he is on the bench.
Meanwhile, Lewis Workman and Ben Hoyle are rested, Kristian Sharples misses out through illness and Mark Pease is under treatment for a groin tear.
Huddersfield XV: Kanouros, Conway, Hodgson, Harris, Grainger, Bell, Hinchliffe, Sharpe, Bradley, Malthouse, A Thompson, Rhodes, C Thompson, Morrill, Pollard. Replacements: Entressengle, Tamanis, Owen, Keighley-Payne, Jeffrey.