sport

Huddersfield RUFC determined to build on Macclesfield win

Otley will prove challenging hosts

Gareth Lewis (Coach) Huddersfield Rugby Union Club

Upbeat Huddersfield RU are determined to build on their first National II North triumph of the season.

But head coach Gareth Lewis knows his side is going to have to be even better to win at Otley this weekend.

There were a lot of positive signs in the gutsy 22-13 Lockwood Park triumph over Macclesfield last Saturday .

And Lewis will be hoping the signs are even more positive when they travel to Cross Green in search of a second successive win.

Otley currently lie comfortably mid-table, having won two of their four games although last week they ceded Blaydon their first win of the season up in the north east.

The teams last met in the second round of the Yorkshire Cup last year when Otley ran out comfortable winners and inflicted the only defeat of the season on Huddersfield.

Former Huddersfield full-back Tom Hodson is one of their key players and was one of those on the scoresheet for Otley in the cup.

Tom Hodson in action for Huddersfield Rugby Union Club

But Lewis is reading little into that game and is instead focusing of getting his team right to give them the best chance of success in an eagerly-awaited derby duel.

“Otley are a club with real pedigree,” said Lewis.

“The early years of the century saw them competing in the full national leagues, although they have been playing back at Level 4 since 2011. They are also nine time winners of the Yorkshire Cup.

“And we know they’ll pose a big challenge to us on Saturday.

“Cross Green is always a tough place to play, they’ve recruited well in the off-season and beaten us on the last three occasions.

“However, records are there to be broken, and if we play with the same attitude, accuracy and intensity we will be a tough team to beat.

“Local derbies are always pretty tasty affairs and I expect Saturday to be very similar.”

And Lewis is looking forward to seeing his side build on the Macclesfield performance.

“It was a real arm wrestle in the first half and Macclesfield withstood some intense pressure from us,” reflected Lewis.

“That being said, I thought we made hard work of it by being too flat and lateral in our attack.

Gareth Lewis of Huddersfield Rugby Union Club

“With 60 minutes on the clock and 13-5 down, the game looked to be drifting away from us in a similar fashion to the Hinckley game.

“But this time the lads stepped up and showed fantastic leadership and resolve.

“All four replacements made big impacts on the game and everyone is delighted to get the first win.

“But there are obviously plenty of areas to work ahead of going to Otley.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield YMCA will also be hoping to make it two wins out of two when they host Morpeth in North I East tomorrow.

The men from Laund Hill got their season off the mark with last week’s impressive 42-10 triumph at Percy Park.

It brought them a win at the fourth time of asking.

And hopes should be high of building up some momentum after a sluggish start.

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