NEW Earswick All Blacks ARLC player-coach Jack Stearman reckons his side’s first win in the Yorkshire Men’s League premier division is “just around the corner”.

Adjusting to life at the top level of the league has been tough for All Blacks who have lost all three of their league games this season.

Saturday sees them travel to table-toppers East Hull (2.30pm), who have won all four of their opening league fixtures.

All Blacks’ results have not been helped by the absence of a significant number of last year’s side that finished top of division one and won the Forty-20 Cup.

But Stearman is optimistic his troops will get the result they want before long, and that the younger squad members are coming along well in new surroundings.

He said: “It’s a tough league and not having six players from the championship-winning squad makes a big difference to life in the premier.

“We’re adjusting, and we’re not far off – the young lads are adjusting well to the first team and a win is just around the corner, I think.

“It’s a bigger step up than we expected. With it being the top level of the league, the players in this division are just a little quicker and stronger.

“But we’ll manage our expectations accordingly as coaches and hopefully we’ll get the first win sooner rather than later.”

All Blacks did not have a game last week, so the squad went to watch their 'A' side beat their Heworth counterparts 52-12, leaving Stearman to commend the team spirit at the club.

The coming weekend will likely prove less relaxing for the side – but the boss is confident that if his men do what they need to across the park, they could collect those first points.

He said: “We had a team day (last Saturday) – we’re one club and one squad. It was nice to get time together and watch their game.

“East Hull will be tough but it’s a challenge we’re willing to take face-on.

“Hopefully the squad is getting more and more settled and we’ll go in hoping to get the best result by controlling the controllable.

“We’ll be looking to produce a complete performance, to win the arm wrestle and the ruck, and we’re confident that if we can do the little things right we’ll get a good result.”

Barring the six season-long absentees and Connor Calam, who will be missing short-term, All Blacks will have a full squad.

York Acorn 'A' travel to Allerton Bywater on Saturday looking for their first points in division one.

Allerton went down 28-16 at Skirlaugh Bulls last week while Acorn were beaten 34-22 at home to Cutsyke Raiders.

York Lokomotive will kick off their division three campaign at home to bottom side Birstall Victoria.

Lokos picked up two pieces of silverware in pre-season – the first in their 10 years of existence – while Birstall have lost at Scarborough Pirates and at home to Brighouse Rangers this term.

Up in National Conference League division one, York Acorn will be hoping to bounce back from last week’s 25-10 loss at Skirlaugh when they host Leigh Miners Rangers, who ran out 32-16 winners at Shaw Cross Sharks last week.