Huddersfield YMCA will be looking for a massive pick-me-up in National III North with a “cup final” victory at Birkenhead Park on Saturday.
Not only are the Wirral side just two points above second-bottom YM in the table, but only a point separated the teams when they met at Laund Hill earlier in the season, YMCA going down 36-35 to virtually the last play of the game.
It was particularly galling, because YM had held a comfortable 28-12 lead just before half time.
Director of Rugby Damon Scholes is keen to gain revenge for that, but more importantly to get back to winning ways after successive defeats to Sheffield Tigers, Ilkley and Lymm.
He is confident YM can do that and explained: “We are treating it as a cup final and it’s down to the 18 players on the teamsheet to produce the goods.
“We are taking over a good support, with some of the second-team lads making the journey to get behind us as well, and we are keen to get the right result.
“With the exception of Ilkley at home, we have played very well since the turn of the year and we just need a bit of luck.”
YM went down 25-13 at Lymm last week after a well-contested 80 minutes, Simon Wilson adding a couple of penalties and a conversion to Sam Hodge’s try.
“I felt we were outstanding last week, playing a team on a roll on their own turf, and we deserved something out of it,” added Scholes.
“I can’t criticise any of the players because they were outstanding.
“We have never made excuses, even though we’ve had to make changes and lads have had to come in a do a job on a weekly basis.
“Now it’s up to the 18 this weekend to produce a result which would greatly ease our situation.”
This weekend’s trip is a big opportunity for YM to give their survival chances a huge shot in the arm.
Burnage are cut adrift at the bottom of the standings with only 10 points from 20 matches, while YMCA and Cleckheaton are both on 33 points (but Cleck, who are at home to Lymm this weekend, have played a game fewer).
Birkenhead Park are fourth from bottom with 35 points, again having played a game fewer than the Laund Hill men, while Stockport are also within striking distance on 38 points from 19 matches.
With Burnage due at Laund Hill a week on Saturday, a victory at Park Road North would be the ideal tonic for YMCA to send them into their last handful of matches on a high.
Squad: Watson, Emsley, Moore, Twigg, Housley, Robertson, Starbuck, Hodge, Edwards, Bell, Wilson, Ledgard, Chappell, Ryder, Stead, Bentley, Fletcher, Morton, Dyke.<p/>