MACCLESFIELD V HUDDERSFIELD - MATCH PREVIEW

Published: 21/09/2018

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Huddersfield take to the road this weekend looking to follow up their dramatic recent victory over Preston when they travel to Macclesfield’s Priory Park.

As they cross the peaks into Cheshire, Field will also be looking to dispel an away-day hoodoo that has come with away days to Macclesfield.

It’s a league fixture that has only happened four times in the past ten years due to the teams being in different divisions, but Macclesfield have beaten Huddersfield each time, including downing the Lockwood men 41-5, albeit in the 09/10 season.

However, since their relegation from National Division One in 2017 after yo-yoing between leagues, the Blues failed to bounce back, finishing mid-table and two places below Field’s sixth place league position.

Their home season saw just six wins, while their start to the new season has yet to yield a win after three games. Nonetheless, Gareth Lewis expects a test on Saturday.

“Macclesfield are always a very good team. For those who have been around the squad for a while they will remember one or two painful defeats, and this should inspire the lads to perform on Saturday.”

Though an inconsistent side, when they’re in the mood Macclesfield can really put points on the board, scoring over 30 points on eight different occasions last year.

Lewis’ side will be buoyed by the Preston win and will fancy their chances after working on their shortcomings during the week. “Training has been good this week with the boys analysing their performance and identifying areas to improve.

“Clearly there are many areas to improve but we showed in just 15 minutes what a dangerous team we can be” says the head coach.

Arthur Wilkinson and Joe Green’s cameos from the bench have earned them starts on the wing and at scrum-half respectively.

While Reuben Pollard starts his first game in the front three since returning from New Zealand, also impressing against Preston. Matt Dunn is the other change coming into the second row alongside Nick Sharpe.

Lewis adds on his selection “The bench made a significant contribution last week when it appeared the game was going nowhere and there are a number of individuals who are rewarded for good performances.”

Harry Whitfield, Guy Borrowdale, Jack Maplesden and James Davies all drop to the bench, but as evidenced on Saturday, they can play their way back in when the chance arises.

Elsewhere in the division, Hull, Hinckley and Chester’s one hundred percent starts will be examined as the top two face off at Hinckley, while Chester go to Sheffield Tigers.

There’s a Yorkshire derby at Wharfedale when Otley visit the Dales and Sedgley make a short journey to Preston.

Four teams are still without a win thus far, Macclesfield included. Leicester Lions and Tynedale will be looking to get off the mark against Fylde and South Leicester respectively, while Peterborough’s wait for a win will go on after the postponement of their Stourbridge clash.

HUDDERSFIELD: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Lewis Workman, Will Milner, Arthur Wilkinson, Mark Pease, Joe Green; Alex Battye, Fran Entressengle, Reuben Pollard, Matt Dunn, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley,Liam Parfitt, Dickie Piper (captain) Replacements: Harry Whitfield, Bob Sykes, Guy Borrowdale, Jack Maplesden, James Davies

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