HUDDERSFIELD chief Mark Sowerby believes a victory at Kendal tomorrow could be vital to his club’s dream of moving higher up the rugby union ladder.
Sowerby’s side face one of the toughest EDF National Trophy trips, knowing they will need to be at their very best to guarantee a place in the third round.
Kendal have already inflicted the only defeat of the season on high-flying Huddersfield, winning 21-14 at Lockwood Park to remain unbeaten at the top of the North I table.
But Sowerby is confident that if his side can gain the sweetest of revenge this weekend, they can go from strength to strength.
“I can’t stress enough how vital this game is for us,” he said.
“First and foremost, we want to win to take our place in the next round of the Trophy, because that’s when it becomes a national competition and would put our name firmly on the wider rugby union map.
“That would then make it easier for us to attract sponsors and also make us a more attractive club for potential new players to join.
“But, on top of that, this tie could be crucial to the way the League title battle unfolds.
“Right now, Kendal have the upper hand against us, because of their recent League win.
“It was a result which gives them a bit of a psychological advantage.
“But if we can go up there this weekend and turn them over, it could make all the difference in the world.
“It would give us tremendous confidence ahead of our League game at Kendal in February, which I hope we will be able to bill as a potential title decider.
“We came close to beating them at our place a month ago, but a win up there would be massive.”
Sowerby has made several changes to the side that secured the amazing winning League fightback at Hull six days ago – all of which are in the backs.
Kiwi Rob McLaren (pictured) returns at full-back after missing last week’s clash with a knee injury.
He takes the No15 shirt from Tom Ainsworth, who is switched to the wing to take over from Alex Shaw.
And with centre James Mortimore struggling with a rib injury, Lee Paxman is promoted from the bench.
Huddersfield: McLaren; Ainsworth, Paxman (B), Paxman (L), Collins; Johnson, Clayton; Howard, Gough, Stringwell, Rhodes, Harris, Hinchliff,Whitehead, Sowerby. Subs: Shaw, Sharrock, McPhail.