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York RUFC ‘hang in there’ for promotion push
VICTORY is a must for York RUFC when they host old rivals Scarborough in Yorkshire One tomorrow.
So declared head coach Sean Bass as he bids to keep the Clifton Park club in the promotion race with the Christmas and New Year break beckoning.
Sixth-placed York’s recent league form has been patchy, with three wins from their last eight matches after a stunning four-game winning start to the campaign.
However, Bass is keen to build on last weekend’s 39-0 victory at Pontefract, saying: “It was a decent win and we hope we have turned it around.
“We’ve got to hang on in there. We are trying to play ourselves into some good form.
“A win is necessary and the players know what I want from them. We will be going all out to get the victory.”
Bass is not expecting an easy afternoon against Scarborough.
“This is a home game and you need to win your home games,” said the coach. “But they are a tough side and play nice rugby.”
Prop Will Norris retains his place, with Bass singing his praises. “Will has moved up from the seconds and stamped his authority. He’s a cracking lad and is really giving his all.”
In-form Selby put their three-game winning run on the line at fifth-placed Dinnington in Yorkshire One.
The trip to Dinnington is followed by a Sandhill Lane clash with Doncaster Phoenix and Swans coach Richard Nicholson is looking for a secure mid-table position heading into the Christmas break.
“The next two are really tough games but if we can get something from them we will be in a good position at Christmas,” he said.
“At the moment there are some odd results going on. If you can get a run going, you can jump up the table quite quickly.
“We have won our last three games and that has given everyone a bit of confidence.
“We targeted Acklam and Bridlington. We had to make sure we beat them to keep ourselves out of the battle at the bottom.
“That’s put us nicely in mid-table and we can now look to push on.”
Alex Arthur returns to the backs, while the pack is strengthened by prop Tom Bell, who is fit again after an arm injury, and Dom Bosher.
A serious knee injury curtailed former Ampleforth School pupil Birkett’s rise at Newcastle, but he has impressed at The Gannock.
Henry Newitt and George Elliott will also figure in the North One East clash after missing out in recent weeks due to injury and unavailability respectively.
Second-placed Pocklington travel to third-placed Huddersfield YMCA in North One East.
Pocklington are without wing Billy Hardy, who has damaged ankle ligaments, while Graham Pickering, scorer of the winning try against West Hartlepool last weekend, is unavailable.
They are replaced by Sam Askem and Charlie Allen in a 19-man squad.
York RI host Halifax Vandals in Yorkshire Four.
• Former Malton & Norton junior Will Witty, now with Newcastle Falcons academy, made a substitute appearance for England Under-18s in their 23-3 victory over Australia Schools in Harrow.
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