SHEFFIELD TIGERS v HUDDERSFIELD - MATCH REPORT

Published: 08/12/2017

Buoyant boss Gareth Lewis has been picking the brains of Sale Sharks defence coach Mike Forshaw ahead of Huddersfield RU’s trip to Sheffield Tigers.

In-form Huddersfield are hunting a fifth straight win in National 2 North, but head coach Lewis is keen to bolt the defensive door against a Tigers back line packed with talent.

Changes have to be made by Field because dual registration players Harry Davey and Ollie Fox are both on duty with Yorkshire Carnegie against Dragons Premiership Select in the British & Irish Cup at Laund Hill, where Huddersfield YMCA host the tie.

Will Milner takes over from Tom Owen at centre, Jonny West plays at stand off for Davey and Ben Morrill goes into the pack at hooker, with Francis Entressengle among the replacements.

The Lockwood Park men, however, are fresh from a cracking 32-30 home win against Sedgley Park to back up successes against Leicester Lions, Sheffield and Blaydon and are keen to topple a side who stand on the same 35 points as themselves.

Lewis explained: “ Last Saturday’s victory has now gone.

“We must build on the positives and aim to improve on some key areas moving forward.

“Until recently, Sheffield Tigers were on a five-game winning run, having beaten Stourbridge and South Leicester along the way.

“They have a backline littered with quality, so there is no way we will be approaching this with any complacency.

“Dore Moor is an unforgiving venue and, once again, we will need to be focused and professional in every aspect of play.”
Mike Forshaw, defence coach of Sale Sharks, who has been helping Huddersfield Rugby Union Club head coach Gareth Lewis

On the support from Forshaw, the former England and Great Britain rugby league international, Lewis said: “Hopefully this will help us improve.

“I have been fortunate to drop in on some sessions over the last 12 months or so at Sale and it’s been very helpful.”

Lewis has been boosted by the return to training this week of Ben Hoyle, while strong-running forward Callum Thompson is expected back in training later this month.

Two younger players, Harvey Keighley-Payne and Sam Nunn, have returned to their previous club Old Rishworthians to seek first-team rugby, with Lewis disappointed to see them leave.

Field are one place above their South Yorkshire opposition, placing seventh in the league table.

Tigers regained a place in National 2 North in 2016 with an emphatic championship win in National 3 North and, last year, finished one place above the drop zone, albeit by a fairly safe margin.

The teams last met in the league in 2012-13 and Tigers did the double, going on to finish in sixth.

Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Elliot Knight, Mark Pease, Will Milner, Brandon Conway, Jonny West, Joel Hinchliffe, Alex Battye (capt), Ben Morrill, Reuben Pollard, Adam Malthouse, Austen Thompson, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Richard Piper. Replacements: Adam Blades, Fran Entressengle, Declan Thompson, Danny Grainger, Tom Owen.

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