TOMORROW is THE big day for Huddersfield YMCA as they prepare for what could be the title-decider this season when they visit Yorkshire I leaders and championship rivals Pocklington (3.00).
The coaching staff insist they have drawn a line under last week’s abject performance at Skipton and are now looking forward to putting in a positive performance against the form team in the division.
“We sat down after last week’s defeat and talked about what went wrong, and hopefully we’ve now got it out of our system,” said coach Jody Shaw.
“The lads have trained really well this week, with a full contact session on Monday. Everything has been very positive and now we are looking forward to tackling Pocklington.
“We are still a top of the League side, and although we know Pock are a very good side, when we are playing to our full potential we have nothing to fear from anyone.”
The one big change is the side from that which went down 35-26 at Skipton, is the re-appearance of scrum half Nick Clarke, who steps in for the unavailable Simon Wilson.
Clarke, who played earlier in the season and scored on his debut against Hullensians back in early October, has been training hard at Laund Hill for the last two or three weeks and is given the responsibility of marshalling Pocklington’s experienced No9.
The other change sees Stuart Morton returning to the first team on the wing after a sterling show last week in the Seconds in place of Jon Smith, while Alex Shaw and Chris Beever swap positions, with the latter going onto the opposite wing and Shaw dropping into the full-back slot.
Up front the pack is the same as the one which played seven days ago, with Leonne-Mazza retaining the flanker’s top spot ahead of Sam Hodge who starts on the bench, alongside Smith and Mark Lockwood
YM were edged out 11-6 when they met Pocklington at Laund Hill in November – another defeat tomorrow will put a huge dent in their title aspirations, but a victory would throw the race wide open again.
YMCA: Shaw; Beever, Ryder, Williams, Morton; Swift, Clarke; Sanderson, Dyke (Stu), Dyke (Ste), Housley, Neilly, Whitehead, Leonne-Mazza, Walker. Subs: Hodge, Smith, Lockwood.