FIRED-UP Huddersfield are determined to put last week’s big National League II setback behind them and come out firing at home to in-form Westoe tomorrow (3.00).
While Huddersfield were suffering a bitterly disappointing 33-20 defeat at new boys Bromsgrove, their second-placed visitors were making it six wins from nine League starts with a rock-solid 35-12 home triumph over Otley.
That suggests player-coach Dan Hyde’s men could struggle to immediately get back on the winning track.
But Hyde is confident his players will be able to find the right response and prove last Saturday’s defeat in the Midlands was a one-off.
“We just didn’t turn up in the first half last week and we paid the price,” conceded Hyde.
“Although Bromsgrove are newly-promoted, they’ve recruited well, and they play hard, robust rugby, which was always going to make them tough opponents.
“We did come back at them in the second half, but it was always going to be an uphill battle given the start we made, and that’s an important lesson for us to learn.
“The key against Westoe tomorrow is obviously to avoid a repeat. We’ll be looking to come out strongly, get straight in their faces and make sure we don’t fall into the same trap as last week.
“And I’m confident that won’t happen.
“Last week hit everyone hard, although we’ve not be dwelling on it. Instead, there’s been a steely determination to ensure we come up with the perfect response.”
Huddersfield’s cause a week ago wasn’t helped by the last-minute withdrawal of influential forward Gavin Rhodes, who fell ill on the eve of the contest.
But he’s now back to full fitness and will take his place in a pack which also includes hooker Francis Entressengle. He takes over from Ben Murrill, who needs to rest a couple of head knocks.
Apart from that, Hyde is keeping faith with the same side that lost to Bromsgrove – because he expects them to rise to the occasion.
“They’re a very proud bunch, and their pride took a bit of a hit last weekend,” added Hyde. “Nick Sharpe is developing into a very good captain, and I know how strong his desire is to lead out the side and put in a big performance back at Lockwood Park.
“Westoe are a very good side – the League table shows that – and over the past couple of years we’ve been involved in some great scraps against them.
“We know if we can put in the right performance we’ll give ourselves a very good chance.”
Huddersfield: Andrews; Ryder, Owen, L Paxman, Clarke; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Stringwell, Entressengle, Battye, Hinchliff, Rhodes, Hoyle, Lewis, Sharpe. Subs: Hyde, Sutcliffe, Duffy, Davies.