YORK Acorn will be without EIGHT players for their National Conference League division one grudge match at Featherstone Lions.

Five players received their marching orders during an opening day encounter at Acorn’s Thanet Road ground that saw tempers flare as the hosts prevailed 20-12.

Lions will be out for revenge this weekend, but they will meet a visiting side weakened by a raft of absentees.

Anthony Chilton, Matthew Woods and Jimmy Mountsford are all away on holiday together with their partners, while Joe Budd, Callum Worthington and Ryan Gallagher will also be on vacation and brothers Harry and James Bromwich are at a festival.

On that depleted roster, coach Leigh-Paul Rientoul admitted: “It’s not great having so many players out, but it will give other lads a chance to play from the A team.

“In that first game of the season, they also got two yellow cards, so we’re expecting another tasty match.”

Acorn will start the second half of their campaign in West Yorkshire, having reached the mid-way point seventh in a 12-strong division.

Victory on Saturday will guarantee that Rientoul’s men, who have only won one of their last six contests, will move back into the top half of the table.

Featherstone ended a run of three straight defeats last weekend with a 34-10 triumph at Bradford Dudley Hill in a tight division, where leaders Lock Lane have lost three games and are only seven points ahead of Acorn.

Offering his mid-term assessment, Rientoul added: “We’d like to be in the top three and could be if things like this didn’t keep cropping up, when players are unavailable, but that’s what happens with summer rugby. I’ve just come back from holiday myself, but perhaps it all needs planning a bit better when people are away.

“As long as we get in the top six and make the play-offs that will be fine and, then, we can take it from there, with everybody available and ready to push on. I don’t know whether we’d be ready to go up to the next division.

“I think we need a couple more seasons at this level, but when are you ready? Perhaps you need to test yourselves and see what happens.”

The first team’s selection problems could lead to the postponement of Acorn A’s home clash with Oulton Raiders. New Earswick All Blacks A will host St Josephs, meanwhile, in divsion five of the Yorkshire Men’s League.