CUTTING out mistakes is the key for York RUFC head coach Sean Bass as his side contemplate a must-win game against North Ribblesdale.
The Dalesmen travel to Clifton Park looking to hurt the home side’s Yorkshire One promotion hopes following York’s tight 25-23 loss at Dinnington last weekend.
Bass concedes the clash is a game his club “need to win” with the Shipton Road outfit sitting in fourth place in the table but only six points off Doncaster Phoenix in second spot.
And he believes the way to do that is for his men to be much more clinical and efficient in their play.
Bass said: “My concern against Dinnington was we made mistakes that they capitalised on. They took their chances and we didn’t.
“It’s something we have talked about – the need to minimise them. In one move last week, we cleared a ball on our own 22 and had the chance to move it away and they went and scored in the corner.
“We were always on the back foot and playing catch-up rugby.”
Bass’s side have struggled with injuries all season, with key player Alex Nixon still out, but Eddie Bradshaw returns this week after recovering from illness while Will Dutton has been brought in as a big, strong ball-carrying prop.
“We just need to get some of our better players back. We are looking forward to the game and we will be giving them all the respect they deserve. It’s not going to be easy,” added Bass.
The Gannock side kicked off 2014 in style with a 11-7 victory at Wheatley Hills and they are hoping their young guns can put in a similar display when West Hartlepool come to Ryedale.
The visitors are hunting promotion but Malton spokesman Bill Laidler said if head coach Chris Creber’s men could play as they did last weekend, his side would be in with a very good chance.
“It was a cracking display against Wheatley Hills,” he said. “West Hartlepool will be a difficult side and they are third in the league.
“We were poor when we went up there and we lost two or three players during the game as well.
“They are very big up front and have some very quick backs. But if we can get anything like the performance we had at Wheatley Hills then we stand a very good chance.
“All 17 players that went on to the field last week put their bodies on the line and fought for everything.”
Malton will field the same squad, with Charlie Ramsay at fly-half, and winger Paul Angus having impressed in recent games.
“We have high expectations and we are at home,” added Laidler.
Pocklington travel to Northumberland to meet Morpeth in North One East. They have a number of injury doubts and have named a 20-man squad to be finalised nearer the time.
Three-quarters Pete Massie (university exams) and Josh Britland (skiing) are unavailable but Pock hope to have half-back Graham Pickering and wing Tim Nixon back after missing last week.
The squad also includes former St Peter’s School, York, back-row Charlie Darmody for the first time.
Selby, who ran riot against Wath-Upon-Dearne in a 47-10 win a week ago, entertain Keighley at Sandhill Lane in Yorkshire One.
York RI, meanwhile, will hope to build on their 19-15 win against Sheffield Oaks on their trip to Wetherby in Yorkshire Four.