SKIPPER Nick Sharpe and his side are plotting a lucky seven win tomorrow, while at the same time aiming to gain revenge when Hull Ionians visit Lockwood Park (3.00).
The dangerous Ionians inflicted one of Huddersfield’s rare defeats early in the season when Sharpe’s team went to Brantingham Park in September and, despite a try from the captain, they still went down 13-11.
Of all three reversals so far this season, that is the one that probably wrankles the most with the Lockwood Park club – and had it not been for that, they would now be sat tucked in second place on their own, just behind National II North League leaders Loughborough Students.
But Huddersfield coach Dan Hyde is well aware that Ionians have strengthened since the start of the season, signing a new fly-half David Marshall from Rotherham, as well as his teammate and former Huddersfield lock Ben Harris, who is now playing at prop!
“We got a rude awakening when we went to Hull earlier in the season,” admitted Hyde.
“We’d beaten Stockport first up, and went over there perhaps thinking we were better than we were.
“But we clearly weren’t at the races, and got what we deserved, which probably did us a favour in the end.
“I know they’ve recruited since then, and last week they earned the bragging rights in the city when they beat Hull on their own ground, with our former second rower Ben Harris getting a try.
“So even though they are still joint bottom of the table with Kendal we know it is not going to be easy tomorrow.”
Two plus points to encourage Hyde, however, is the return from injury of centre Lee Paxman and big second-rower Gavin Rhodes who missed last week’s win at Preston Grasshoppers.
“Lee has been out since picking up a soft tissue injury in a hip during the win at Luctonians, and his return should stiffen up the defence in the three-quarters because we know they play a very direct game,” added the player-coach.
“It’s also a big bonus having Gavin back. We missed the big fella, not only because he is instrumental in the line-out, but also for what he does around the park in defence.”
The only other change in the pack sees hooker Ben Morrill get the starting nod, with Francis Entressengle, who has held the No2 shirt for the last couple of games, moving back to the bench.
Huddersfield: Owen; Ryder, Clark, L Paxman, Hall; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Stringwell, Morrill, Battye, Rhodes, Hinchliff, Hoyle, Lewis, Sharpe. Subs: Hyde, Duffy, Davies, Entressengle, Sutcliffe.