ANOTHER home game and another massive test for Huddersfield RU as they attempt to gain their first-ever win over midlands outfit Bromsgrove at Lockwood Park tomorrow (3.00).
They came close to a home victory last season before eventually going down 16-10, and this season the Worcestershire team have not been going quite as well, having won only four of their 13 National II North starts, with their only away win coming from a 30-29 victory at Hull.
For Huddersfield’s returning head coach Dan Hyde (enjoying a belated honeymoon last week), the priority is to get his side to produce a consistent performance as they seek only their second League win of the season.
Several times this season they have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, illustrated by an excellent half-hour against Bradford & Bingley last week in the Yorkshire Cup, but have rarely produced that sort of form over the entire match.
“I want to see the lads put together what they are capable of doing in spells over a whole game,” said Hyde.
“I know they have the ability and the desire, but now we need to produce it for 80 minutes and not just in short bursts.
“If they do that it will not only bring the results but also give them a massive confidence boost.”
Hyde has gone back to his recognised front row this week of Tony Stringwell, Niall Murphy and Alex Battye, after experimenting in the Cup-tie, although Tom Davies, who came in at hooker against Bradford & Bingley, has retained his place in the squad, and starts on the bench after impressing against the Bees.
Also back in the starting squad is Gavin Rhodes in the second row, alongside namesake Nick, who was another player to emerge with credit after last week’s Cup win.
On the downside, however, is the loss of winger Ben Mitchell who suffered a serious shoulder injury in the 28-21 win.
“We look as though we shall be without Ben for the rest of the season, which is a big miss, because the lad is a quality player and has been performing really well,” added Hyde.
Jack Moon, who has also missed the last couple of games, returns for Mitchell on the wing, while Chris Duffy, who came off the bench against Bradford, starts tomorrow at scrum half to partner Joel Hinchliffe at No10.
Huddersfield: Owen, Booth, Clarke, Paxman, Moon; Hinchliffe, Duffy; Stringwell, Murphy, Battye, N Rhodes, G Rhodes, Hinchliff, Lewis, Sharpe. Subs: Sanderson, Davies, Hoyle, Hyde, Benton.