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Leading Warriors test for depleted Acorn ARLC
11:07am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Rugby League
SCOTT RHODES has bemoaned availbility issues at York Acorn ARLC as the promotion race in National Conference League division one looks set to go down to the wire, writes Peter Martini.
As revealed by The Press, three Acorn aces – Antony Chilton, Jordan Hyde and Chris Rushworth – have joined French club Montpellier. Additionally, a few, such as Matt Withers and Steve Mackley, are out for the season due to injury or work commitments and Nic Caldwell has a lengthy ban.
This week, the experienced Mike Embleton and playmaker Nick Speck are among those unavailable, while half-back Tim Elliott (shin) and Aaron Thompson are also injury doubts – and all as Acorn face one of their toughest assignments of the season, and certainly the run-in, away to leaders Hunslet Warriors.
In better news, old head Andy Gargan is available to take one of the half-back roles and hooker Kev Brayshaw is back. Inspirational skipper Tom Hill also returns, although he has not played for over a month due to his wedding and honeymoon and the fact last week’s ‘A’ team game was postponed at short notice.
Rhodes said: “Sometimes you get your best side out, but quite often you don’t. That’s why our results once or twice have been inconsistent. To be fair we’ve not done too badly and we're right in the mix.
“It’s a running nightmare with injuries and unavailability, but it’s summer rugby league, what can you do? You have to go with what you’ve got.
“Every team I put out, I will try to motivate them to win. We will go with the right attitude. We’re more than capable of getting something from the game – and we need to if we’re going to stay in it at the top.
“We’re three points behind with two games in hand. It’s a game we need to win.”
Rhodes’ former York City Knights team-mate, George Rayner, inset, is on the Warriors’ books but has been missing recently. His pacy brother Luke, another former Leeds junior, has played and been on good form, though.
“It’s one of the toughest games,” said Rhodes. “They’re a good team with some very good players, with the likes of (Caldon) Bravo, (Mark) Cunningham and (Luke) Raynor. They’re good in the pack. They’re bouncing off a defeat last week at Castleford Lock Lane so it’s a must-win game for them to stay top.
“We will have to make a few changes. The way training’s been going, we’ve been a bit down on numbers. But I always have confidence in my lads.”
Acorn ‘A’ are due to visit struggling Holderness Vikings in group three of the Yorkshire Men’s League.