NEW Earswick All Blacks ARLC's new-found confidence will come under scrutiny on Saturday as they welcome Chequerfield to White Rose Avenue.
All Blacks, buoyed by their rise into the top four of the Pennine League championship following victory over King Cross Park, host promotion-chasing Chequerfield (2.30pm), a team with only two defeats all term.
Player-boss Jack Stearman is eyeing a shock, saying his players' ever-increasing pride in performance could see them through.
"Chequerfield are the only team to have taken points off (leaders) Methley all season. It will be a tough game to win but, as I've said before, we can beat anyone in this league on our day," said Stearman.
"We put 40-odd points on the board last week and came away thinking we could have put a better performance in. People are being self-critical in their performance, which is good because they all want to improve."
All Blacks have won six of their last seven games, and Stearman added: "We're winning games and bringing youngsters through, too, which is great."
Of the half-dozen under-18s now training with the first team, two made their debuts last week - loose-forward Ryan Price just one day after turning 17, and winger Tommy Hields.
"I was impressed with both of them," added Stearman. "We've got a few training with us and we'll be drip-feeding them into the senior team. It's a tough ask for them to face Chequerfield so we'll have to think about this weekend, but I know that, if required, they're capable enough to step up."
Dan Atkinson (knee) is ruled out this weekend, along with the long-term crocks, but back-rower Dean Layton is available again.
Selby Warriors, with one game left of a relegation season in division one, are not in action, but their in-form 'A' team go to Illingworth 'A' in division seven - their toughest test of term against a side with a 100 per cent record.
Meanwhile, Heworth venture to the Midlands to take on an outfit tipped to be the next expansion club to join the semi-professional ranks.
Coventry Bears are being talked of as Championship One applicants for 2015, despite their relatively new and lowly status in amateur rugby league's foremost competition, the National Conference League.
They enjoyed a decent win at Woolston last weekend to get division three points on the board. Heworth, whose opening-day win over Peterlee was put into perspective by the Pumas' 84-4 thrashing by Crosfields, will want to take lessons from their 50-14 defeat to fancied Blackbrook.