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York Acorn gearing up for tough test in Cumbria
11:17am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Rugby League
YORK Acorn ARLC will have to pass arguably their hardest assignment of the season so far if they are to stay unbeaten at the top of the National Conference League first division.
Scott Rhodes’ men face the long journey to Egremont Rangers on Saturday as tough tests against the division’s high-riders start to come thick and fast.
It will be only the second time Acorn have faced a top-six side this season – they beat Castleford Lock Lane in the other – and they will also be without their two starting props, with Nick Caldwell and Adam Endersby both unavailable.
Rhodes, whose side had no game last week and have another free weekend next week before the visit of their co-leaders Bradford Dudley Hill, said: “Dudley Hill beat them (Egremont) quite easily at home last time out but going to Cumbria is always hard.
“They play at Whitehaven’s Recreation Ground, which I’ve played on myself, and it’s a tricky pitch to play on. I’m expecting a very tough game.”
He added that time will tell whether the extra rest has done his previously in-form charges good.
“I think it has done,” he said. “We trained (on Tuesday night) and a lot of players were eager to get back into it. It was a really good session. The weekend will show if it’s done us good.
“We’ve got Dudley Hill coming up so it’s important we take something from this game.”
Rhodes is hoping Danny Caldwell will be fit to fill one of the prop berths and he was contemplating moving Mike Embleton up front from the second row. Hooker Kev Brayshaw is also back from illness.
The coach added: “Going without your two starting props isn’t great but we’ll go there pretty strong.”
Winless Heworth go to Dewsbury Celtic, who beat them 34-18 at Elmpark Way on the opening day of the division two season, in what was the West Yorkshire club’s first game back in the NCL.
“We should have done better than we did on the day,” said Villagers spokesman Ken Sykes. “They’re doing okay but we’ll keep battling on for that first win.”
In the Yorkshire Men’s League, Acorn ‘A’ go to Dudley Hill, Heworth ‘A’ have no game, and York Lokomotive were waiting to see if they could start their campaign this weekend after their opener last Saturday, like most games in this league, fell foul of the wet weather.
The Lokos were scheduled to have a free week but were trying to see if they could rearrange last week’s postponed match at Hull Dockers ‘A’ to this Saturday.