Upbeat Huddersfield are confident of securing a second National II North ‘double’ in the space of a week.
Having completed home and away wins over Stourbridge with last weekend’s 24-12 triumph in the Midlands, the men from Lockwood Park hope to repeat the feat at home to Leicester Lions on Saturday (3.00).
Player-coach Gareth Lewis’s men secured a hard-fought 19-12 triumph in the Lions’ den in October.
And if they can continue from where they left off against Stourbridge a week ago, Lewis knows a second season’s success over Leicester will be achieved and Huddersfield will have taken another huge step towards National II North survival.
“The start of 2015 couldn’t have gone better for us,” hailed Lewis.
“We’ve beaten Luctonians and we’ve beaten Stourbridge, and there’s no reason at all why we can’t beat Leicester Lions.
“The performance we produced at Stourbridge last Saturday was arguably our best of the season, although the bigger positive was that there were still areas of our game I know we can improve.
“That’s what we’ll be striving to achieve this weekend, and I know we can.
“The mood just before Christmas when we lost at Harrogate and faced the prospect of a relegation battle was pretty downbeat.
“But the response to that potential threat has been magnificent.
“We’ve not won three games on the trot all season, and with the confidence there is in the group we know how disappointed we’d be if we didn’t.”
At the heart of last week’s success was another dominant forward display, which means the starting pack will remain unchanged.
That means inspirational hooker Ben Morrill again starts on the bench as part of his phased return following major knee surgery, while top prop Alex Battye is also among the replacements after missing last week’s win with a slight shoulder knock picked up in training.
There are, however, a couple of changes in the backs.
With Ben Mitchell having announced his retirement with a long-stand shoulder problem, Elliot Hodgson gets his chance in the centre, with Tom Hodson ready to return at full-back after being sidelined for a month with a shoulder injury.
Another possible miss could be Charlie Martin, who is having a two-week trial with Kingstone Press Championship rugby league club Bradford Bulls and could have a run-out in Sunday’s home pre-season clash against Huddersfield Giants.
“Losing Ben through injury and Charlie’s unavailability does mean we’re a bit stretched in the backs, but we’ve still got a lot of quality out there,” added Lewis.
“Tom’s return has come at just the right time, while we’re all looking forward to seeing what Elliot can do in the centres.
“They’re both big players for us and I know they can have a big say on the outcome of the contest.
“The forwards were outstanding at Stourbridge last week, and it they can back that up with an equally strong performance on Saturday I know our strike players out wide will have the opportunity to do a lot of damage.”