HEWORTH ARLC head coach Scott Rhodes has hit out at placings based on win percentage in this season’s National Conference League.

The NCL has followed the lead of Super League and the Rugby Football League this year in basing the final table not on points accumulated but the proportion of wins to games played.

On the face of it, this is a sensible move to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which can render games unplayable through no fault of any club. A side able to play 12 games, for example, has more opportunity to gain points than a side able to contest only eight, but both can be compared fairly on the proportion of games they have won.

However, Rhodes points out, teams could also manipulate whom they play against without feeling the effects of a dropped two points.

Flying high in group ‘G’, the Villagers have suffered the disappointment of another pandemic-related fixture postponement as tomorrow night’s scheduled opposition Skirlaugh have reported Covid problems within their camp.

Heworth are therefore without a fixture until July 31, having last played on July 8.

“We’re just eager to play. I’ve said it from day one,” Rhodes commented.

“All of our players are fit and healthy, and they’re ready to play as well - that’s the most frustrating thing.

“When you’re on a bit of a roll like we, the minnows, are, it’s even more frustrating.

"We’ve got a bit of confidence there.

“It’s just one of them things. You’ve just got to respect it, haven’t you?

“This win-percentage lark is no good.

"If I didn’t play another game this season, I’d go through to the play-offs in second.

“Would I want to do that? No I wouldn’t. Would some other teams do that? Possibly.”

Heworth, who play in division three of the NCL, have been thrown in at the deep end by this season’s regionalised structure - again to minimise the impact of coronavirus on the competition - which has pitted them against two premier division sides, three division one sides and one division two side.

Despite that, the Black and Whites are among the form teams in the division, sitting second off the back of four consecutive wins.

Most recently, Heworth secured a 34-22 success at Drighlington, with the experienced Danny Allan starring at stand-off.

“You’ve got to praise the players for that (run),” Rhodes said. “They come in, they work hard. They’re a brilliant group. They all get on.

“And they want to play. That’s the most important thing.

“You win games and you lose games but that’s part and parcel of sport.

“We’re not afraid of losing. We just want to play rugby and at the minute we’re doing really well.

“I dare say we could lose a bit of form and lose a few games but that’s part of learning, isn’t it?”

Some of Heworth’s youngsters have been involved in the action too, once again demonstrating the strength of the club’s expanded academy.

Jay Richards, 16, has featured for the first team as well as 18-year-old nine Alex Hindle and middle Ben Barnard.

Barnard, also 18, has been selected for trials with the British Amateur Rugby League Association (Barla) Under-23s.