Buoyant Huddersfield YMCA name an unchanged team for the first time in a year as they head to Billingham looking for the win which could lift them out of the bottom three.
The Laund Hill side have had some bonding sessions over the bye week since their thrilling 27-10 home win over high-riding Hull.
And with the Billingham trip being followed by matches against Ilkley and Cleckheaton, who are also in the bottom five of the National III North table at the moment, director of rugby Damon Scholes feels opportunity knocks for the YM.
“We’ve got three important games before Christmas and if we can get 12 points I think it will go a long way to securing our future in this division,” said Scholes, whose only change to the 18 is Stu Dyke being back on the bench for unavailable loose head prop James Watson.
“The performance we put in against Hull was outstanding – as good as I have ever seen us play – and it shows what we are capable of.
“We were controlled, kept it simple and looked like a rugby union team, rather than a set of individuals, which has been the case for the most part this season.
“We ground it out superbly and credit to the coaching staff, Dave Larder and Ian Spence, who worked beforehand to change our gameplan to more suit our style at the moment, and we were very pleased with that.”
With fourth-bottom Stockport heading to Wirral and Ilkley entertaining second-placed Firwood Waterloo this weekend, YM have a big chance to move up if they can maintain the form they showed against Hull.
“It feels like the old YMCA buzz is back, and that’s all to do with confidence,” explained Scholes.
“We haven’t been able to field the same 15 for a long time – 12 months as far as I’m aware – and that can only help, especially with the performance against Hull being so good.
“Ben Hemsley on the wing and Arvin Pooloogadoo had fantastic games and the back line looked solid, in our tackling we were hunting and some of our supporters were saying it was the best performance they had ever seen, with others saying that was certainly the case since the second half of the promotion play-off (against Birkenhead Park).
“If it wasn’t the best performance it was certainly the best result, so we want to build on that as positively as we can.”
YMCA: Fletcher, Pooloogadoo, Stead, Ryder, Hemsley, Ledgard, Wilson, Slater, Wrafter, Moore, Edwards, Housley, Starbuck, Hodge, Bell. Subs: Dyke, Wood, Robertson.