THEY may be fielding a re-jigged side due to a string of injuries, but Huddersfield will still be aiming for a big points bonanza when they entertain lowly Manchester at Lockwood Park tomorrow (3.00).
Incredibly, it will be Huddersfield’s first National League II North home game in eight weeks, after suffering a string of ‘frost-bitten’ postponements, and it is one which should produce something of a points spree.
Relegated from Division I last season after losing the bulk of their players, Manchester are still in free-fall, having failed to secure even a single bonus point this season, and are currently shipping on average 59½ points per game.
Huddersfield coach Dan Hyde insisted his team will approach the game with the same intensity and focus that he demands from every game, but does admit: “We have been looking to target this game as one where we are looking to improve our points tally.
“However, just because they are bottom of the League we will not be taking them lightly, and the changes we have made have been forced upon us because of injuries.”
Second rower Lee Brown (knee), Tony Stringwell (back), Ben Paxman (fingers), Tom van Rooyen (wrist) and Jack Andrews (hamstring) are all ruled out, paving the way for James Davies, James Bodsworth, George Hinchliff and Simon Pratt to get starting roles.
Normally a hooker, Davies goes in for Stringwell at tight-head prop, while Bodsworth, who has been impressing the coaching staff with some barn-storming performances in the Seconds, steps into the second row to partner Gavin Rhodes.
Hinchliff is likely to start at wing forward tomorrow, with skipper Nick Sharpe playing at No8, with Hyde on the bench.
The main change in the backs sees Kiwi Pratt getting a run-out on the wing, with Dave Hall again chosen at centre alongside Lee Paxman.
“This is a great chance to see how some of the lads coming into the side step up to the plate and perform at first-team level,” added Hyde.
Huddersfield have so far accrued just four bonus points to bolster their tally this season, while having a points difference of plus 19.
In comparison, Manchester have no points of any description and a points difference standing at minus 849!
Huddersfield: Owen; Wood, L Paxman, Hall, Pratt; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Battye, Morrill, Davies, Rhodes, Bodsworth, Lewis, Hinchliff, Sharpe. Res: Slater, Lancaster, Shuttleworth, Hyde, Rothery.