HUDDERSFIELD V LUCTONIANS - MATCH PREVIEW

Published: 06/10/2017

Gareth Lewis hopes the combination of an exciting young back division and experienced pack will provide the platform for victory against Luctonians at Lockwood Park tomorrow.

With plenty of senior players unavailable for various reasons, the head coach is drawing on the strength of his squad as they tackle the Herefordshire side in National II North.

It means full debuts for Harry Davey and Ollie Fox and a first sighting of their dual-registration Yorkshire Carnegie clubmate Rian Hamilton on the right wing.

Injury-hit Huddersfield, who are 13th, are facing a tough test against a side with three wins to their credit already.

And Lewis explained: “This week we will be tested to the maximum.

“We’ve got numerous players unavailable but this is why you need a squad with depth.

“Luctonians arrive following some good results so far this season and are another club who’ve operated at this level for many years.

“Our players are building in confidence week on week, though, and know that we must do the basics well to get the right result.

“We did it against Macclesfield and there were many positives to take from Otley last week.

“The team selected is relatively low on experience but will approach it without fear and has an exciting look about it.”

That’s certainly true with Davey and Joel Hinchliffe in the engine room – Hinchliffe was Davey’s teacher at Silcoates School last year! – behind a quality pack line-up.

Field, of course, are off the back of an encouraging 20-20 draw at Otley, where they lost so convincingly last season in the Yorkshire Cup - a measure of their growing confidence.

They are also bidding to build on their victory last time out at home, when Macclesfield were vanquished 22-13.

On the Otley performance, Lewis added: “It was an excellent game of rugby.

“We dominated the first half and deservedly went in at half time in front. We retained the ball really well, made some good line breaks and got off the line in defence, cutting down the time and space Otley wanted.

“Otley came out stronger in the second half and I felt we weathered the storm well.

“They are another established team at this level and, although it wasn’t the win we probably deserved, it was another two points on the board away from home.

“We are building some momentum now and look forward to taking on Luctonians at home.”

Among those absent tomorrow are Adam Blades, Jonny West, Brandon Conway, Danny Grainger, Ben Hoyle, Mark Pease and Tom Owen while Ben Morrill faces a late fitness test to see if he can make the bench as a backs replacement.

Seventh-placed Luctonians are based in Leominster – the furthest trip Huddersfield will make this season – and first played Field in 2008.

That was in the National III North v Midlands runners-up play-off match, which Huddersfield won to take their place in National II North for the first time.

Two years later Luctonians succeeded in making the step up to that level and they have competed successfully at Level 4 since that time.

Having finished 12th last season, they arrive with wins to their credit against Sheffield, Wharfedale and Blaydon.

Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Rian Hamilton, Will Milner, Sam Nunn, Elliot Knight, Harry Davey, Joel Hinchliffe, Alex Battye (Captain), Francis Entressengle, Reuben Pollard, Adam Malthouse, Austen Thompson, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Richard Piper. Replacements: Adam Tamanis, Declan Thompson, Ben Morrill, Greg Aspin, Mike Clarke.

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