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York RUFC to ‘man-up’ for Bridlington battle
YORK RUFC are expecting a much stiffer Yorkshire One test when they travel to Bridlington tomorrow.
The Clifton Parkers destroyed Acklam 88-7 in their season opener a week ago but head coach Sean Bass said he couldn’t take too much from the result – apart from a welcome five-point haul.
“It was good but I think that’s going to happen to them every week,” he said of Acklam. “I said to the players at half-time that I wanted them to be clinical and not to relax.
“We did relax in the second half but, when you are 60-0 up at half-time, it is very difficult not to take your foot off the gas.
“It will be a massive step up tomorrow. We’ve had history with Bridlington since we won the league there 20 years ago.
“They are a fantastic club and we have a lot of respect for them. They have some big, tough players and they will throw everything at us.
“We have to man-up up front – that’s where they will come at us – and not be intimidated.
“We’ll go there and will need to step up again. We will go there looking to win but they will be really tough.”
Ben Hepworth comes back into the forwards ahead of James Hartley.
Selby will come face to face with an old rival as they bid to make it two out of two in Yorkshire One.
The Sandhill Laners travel to Doncaster Phoenix for the first time since they clinched promotion from Yorkshire Two there last season.
Phoenix were runners-up to the Swans last term but beat Selby on their home patch and head coach Richard Nicholson is expecting a difficult game on the road.
“They have recruited quite heavily so we think it will be a slightly different side,” he explained.
“It was probably the toughest game of our season last year and we are expecting it to be the same again. We are looking forward to it.
“It’s a really important game and a challenge for us. We need to try to achieve the same level in terms of preparation and intensity as we did last season.”
Selby got off to a great start last week with a 33-20 win over North Ribblesdale and Nicholson added the league was turning out to be exactly as he had expected.
“We knew it was going to be a big physical challenge and we weren’t disappointed,” he said.
“We were a little bit rusty but we played some nice stuff in patches.”
Sam Weller and Martin Protheroe are back in the mix for Selby, but Tom Cobley faces a spell on the sidelines after breaking his thumb.
After opening their North One East campaign with a home win, Pocklington are again at Percy Road for the visit of Halifax’s leading side, Old Crossleyans.
When the teams met in April, Pocklington had their best win of last season, 52-0, against a Crossleyans side cut down by injury.
But when they had played earlier at Halifax it was a real cliffhanger that saw Crossleyans edge it 13-8.
Crossleyans have made some notable changes in the summer and also started with a win last week.
Pocklington have a couple of knocks and possible unavailability to contend with, so have named a 40-man squad for both the first XV and Panthers fixtures.
Returning are front row Dave Birch and scrum-half Graham Pickering, who were both at a wedding last week.
A depleted side lost 31-23 but Malt had trailed 24-9 at one point before launching a comeback charge.
They travel to Northumberland determined to cut down on the amount of cheap turnover ball presented to the opposition.
“Had we not been so benevolent (to Cleckheaton) in the way we handed possession to the visitors on several occasions there may have been a different final outcome,” said club spokesman Bill Laidler.
York RI begin their Yorkshire Four season with a trip to Sheffield Oaks.
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