Harrogate RUFC go in search of much-needed victory at fellow strugglers Huddersfield RUFC
Harrogate RUFC go in search of what would be just their third win of 2021/22 when they visit Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.
Last weekend's defeat to Loughborough Students was the Aces' eighth in 10 National Two North outings this term and saw them drop one place to second-from-bottom of the pile.
Saturday's opponents have struggled themselves, and sit just one position higher in the table with an identical record when it comes to wins and losses.
Huddersfield do however head into the game buoyed by a narrow victory over Sheffield Tigers last time out,and 'Gate director of rugby Dave Doherty is aware of the threats that their hosts will pose.
“Huddersfield are quite similar to us in that they are very good in the set-piece and launch well from scrums and mauls,” he said.
“They like to try and squeeze the life out of teams and score a lot of tries from their pick-and-go game.
“They have some big boys, so it’s important that we try and match them up front while aiming to move them around and make them work through the speed of our phase play.”
Injury-hit Harrogate will once again be without a host of 1st XV regulars this weekend, with a number of players whom Doherty had hoped might be fit enough to play some part at Huddersfield all missing out.
Back-row forwards Jonny Coser and Matt Landsall, prop Will Dennis and versatile back Luke Edwards were all rated as being in with a chance of returning to action, though none of them will feature.
Flanker Guy Coser and full-back Sam Parry started against Loughborough but have been replaced by Ben Whyte and Ben Raubitschek respectively.
"It would certainly be nice to have some of our experienced first-team boys available, however we won't rush anyone back, we'll make sure each individual is 100 per cent," Doherty added.
"And the young boys who have had to step up this season have adjusted well, we're really pleased with the way they are progressing.
"The team that we'll be putting out, we are confident that we can go and get a result at Huddersfield, but only if we are at our best.
"After an extremely tough start to the season, we are in the middle of a run of fixtures that we believe we can pick up points from and we do need to start putting some wins on the board."