NEW Earswick All Blacks ARLC head into their "biggest game of the season" believing they can upset the odds once again.

The Pennine League division two club, by far the lowest-ranked team still in the GMB Union National Cup, travel to Leigh Miners Rangers on Saturday for arguably the toughest assignment possible, away to the side currently heading the British Amateur Rugby League Association's flagship league, the National Conference.

However, the All Blacks' magical run to the last 16 of the competition has already seen them conquer two sides from the National Conference and, in the last round, North West Counties champions Halton Simms Cross, rated by many to be of Conference premier division standard.

And old stager Alan Pallister, the former York Wasps hooker who is now player-joint-coach at All Blacks, has far from ruled out their chances of causing a fourth major upset.

"I reckon it will be the toughest test yet," he admitted. "They are top of the Conference premier league and it's going to be very hard. But I think we're in with a shout.

"As long as everybody performs on the day and doesn't freeze we've got a chance."

Pallister has highlighted Rangers' big second-rows and skilful backs as potential dangers but, even without injured trio Jim Mulholland, Nigel Wilson and captain Jez Petch, he reckoned All Blacks had the players able to counter the threats, including York RL legend Richie Hayes, who may come into the equation at prop depending on how the squad shapes up and how his problematic shoulder is.

The experienced Pallister added: "With people like Eddie Keeping and Jo Jo Hnesh up front, who work really hard and never stop, I can't see us facing a problem in the forwards.

"We've also got (second-row) Jamie Rhodes back this week and when he's got the right head on he can hold his own against anyone.

"We've got Steve Perks and Paul Dooley on the wings this season so we've got a bit of pace out wide as well."

This is the first time All Blacks have gone this far in this competition and, while they are also embroiled in an exciting title race, Pallister said: "This is definitely our biggest game of the season.

"It's our cup final and if we win this it will be more than we would ever have hoped to do."

York Acorn 'A' will look to sustain their title challenge in Pennine League division four at home to strugglers Brighouse Rangers 'A', while Selby Warriors renew their promotion bid in division five at home to West Craven Warriors.

Updated: 11:10 Thursday, March 24, 2005