HUDDERSFIELD are seeking to bounce back with a home-field bonus tomorrow when they entertain Harrogate at Lockwood Park (3.00).
Coach Mark Sowerby’s side have won their last two home games – against Broadstreet 42-0 and Rugby Lions a fortnight ago 23-16 – and the director of rugby wants his men to quickly get over last week’s ‘mud wrestle’ at Westoe and plan a seventh victory of their National II North campaign.
Having moved above Broadstreet in the League table (on points difference) and out of the relegation zone, Huddersfield aim to keep it that way, and certainly a win tomorrow would go some way to ensuring that aim – but it won’t be easy.
Harrogate are fourth in the table with 11 wins to their name and already have a 22-20 win over Huddersfield this season at Claro Road.
“Harrogate have been going quite well this season but we have nothing to fear from them,” insisted Sowerby.
“We only went down by two points at their place, and we beat them heavily at Lockwood Park last season” (although that was in the first round of the Yorkshire Cup when Gate were well below strength).
“Despite the position in the League and last week’s loss at Westoe, the lads have enough belief in themselves to know they are capable of getting out of the situation, and tomorrow’s game is another one we know we can win.”
Donovan van Vuuren is unavailable, so James Wood – who scored an excellent debut try against Rugby Lions – continues on the wing opposite Adam Sutcliffe.
In the pack, there is again no place for skipper Mark Whitehead, selectors choosing to start with in-form Nick Sharpe at No6 with Gareth Lewis at 7 and Dan Hyde at No8.
Huddersfield: Owen, Sutcliffe, Paxman (B), Johnson, Wood; Duffy, Clayton; Slater, Davies, Stringwell, Harris, Rhodes, Sharpe, Lewis, Hyde. Subs: Battye, Entressengle, Whitehead, Hinchliff, Van Rooyen.