LEIGH PAUL-RIENTOUL admits his York Acorn ARLC side have been frustrating him - but all will be forgiven if they continue the “Super League” form on show last time out, writes Peter Martini.
Acorn bounced back to winning ways in National Conference League division one 12 days ago with a high-class 38-12 win at Hunslet Warriors, in what Paul-Rientoul termed the best display in his 11 months as boss.
And, after having the Easter weekend off, they host another top-five team, Milford Marlins, on Saturday (2.30pm).
Props Jack Byrnes (jaw) and Adam Speck (ankle) are ruled out, and there are big new concerns over Jordan Potter (knee), but key front-rower Tim Stubbs, pivot Timmy Elliott and utility Karl Harton are back.
“We got a good win last time which got us back on track, and training has been going well,” said Paul-Rientoul.
“If there were no injuries I wouldn’t make any changes. It was a really good result and a really good performance.
“Hunslet were a big physical side but it was the best I’ve seen us play since I took over. It was like watching a Super League team!
“We went from losing to a Hull Dockers side that we should have beaten, to playing like that.
“It’s frustrating really but it shows how good we can be.”
Potter is set to see a specialist again about the knee trouble that sidelined him all last season, while Speck might be out for a month.
Said Paul-Rientoul: “Jordan has been training hard but the knee just isn’t holding out. It’s a blow for him and for us. He’s a good player and, having spent time as a junior at Featherstone and with York, he brings experience of a semi-pro set-up to our team.”
But the coach added: “Having Tim back is a big bonus for us.
“It was interesting last time out though. Instead of relying on Tim, we all pulled our finger out and did a lot more work without him there. It will be good if we continue that.”