STOURBRIDGE V HUDDERSFIELD - MATCH PREVIEW

Published: 08/03/2019

By Brandon Reeves

Huddersfield are aiming to offset their recent dip in form when they make their final midlands voyage this season in facing Stourbridge at Stourton Park this weekend.

Head Coach Gareth Lewis remains bullish despite the back-to-back losses and has called for his side to show that bounce-back-ability that has underpinned their success thus far.

“The last couple of weeks have obviously been disappointing but we must things in perspective.

“What we’ve done this season is overcome a few setbacks and responded fantastically well. We must do the same once again.”

Twice in the season Field have returned from defeats, with interest, before going on winning runs.

Early in the season after two defeats, ‘Field went on a 7-match winning run, and just before Christmas they emulated that same form that put them on par with their promotion contenders.

Their hosts for Saturday afternoon are the picture of inconsistency this year. Stour haven’t won more than two-in-a-row, while they’ve not recorded more than three consecutive defeats.

But Stourton Park is where they pick up their points, it seems. Having lost there just three times this campaign, they have amassed 411 of their 620 points at home, collecting 8 wins and 9 try-scoring bonus points from 12 games in the process.

With a depleted side, the ‘Field men are in for a game that can genuinely go either way.

Lewis still says his squad is strong enough to get the win: “Playing resources are always tested at this stage of the season and it’s proving that way this week.

“However, we can still put a strong squad out on the field and we are looking forward to a big performance at Stourbridge.”

Huddersfield are without Lewis Bradley, Guy Borrowdale, Bob Sykes, Fran Entressengle, Elliot Hodgson, Jack Maplesden and Nick Sharpe, but can welcome the return of Kian Stewart.

These absences mean a shake-up to the pack. Alex Battye comes in at hooker, Tor Borrowdale will be in the second row for a full debut in the absence of his brother Guy, while both Ross Thornton and Harry Woodhouse, from the academy, start as wide forwards. Tom Owen starts in the back line.

Keeping an eye out for the sides at the forefront of the promotion chase, Fylde travel to South Leicester, Chester are at Wharfedale, and leaders Hull Ionians face a side who have the potential to be kingmakers.

Sedgley Park have all of the top four sides to play, including Huddersfield on the final day, making things increasingly intriguing as the season unfolds.

Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Mark Pease, Tom Owen, Lewis Workman, Chris Johnson, Joe Green; Harry Whitfield, Alex Battye, Adam Blades, Tor Borrowdale, Matt Dunn, Harry Woodhouse, Ross Thornton, Dickie Piper(c).

Replacements: Reuben Pollard, Darren Neilly, Elliot Knight, Will Milner, Elliott Spiers

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