Leigh Miners entertain Lock Lane on Saturday afternoon in Round 14 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
Miners go into their third successive home game on the back of a 40-22 victory against Oulton Raiders last weekend, the win moving Miners back into the top six into fifth position on 14 points. The performance though being flat for most of the game with only a blistering ten to fifteen minute period in the second half being the highlight, scoring four quick fire tries to take the game away from the visitors.
The lads know they will have to improve on last week’s performance if they are to keep the only unbeaten home record left in the Premier Division intact. But after a good week’s training they are determined not to let any changes to the side unsettle them as they look to stay well in the mix at the top end of the table with another victory.
Coaches Allan Coleman & Paul Whitworth are again forced into making a host of changes with Harry Gagen (Holiday), Gary Gittins (Injured), Andrew Groves (Wedding), Danny Jackson (Injured), Scott O’Brien (Holiday) and Adam Smith (u18s) all missing. Coming into the side are Todd Appleby, Joe Lorimer, Mark Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Scott Travis and Charles Tyson
Looking back at last weekends victory against Oulton, Coach Paul Whitworth said “I was pleased to get the win but it was a strange win, There was an air of disappointment after the game and we need to realise that we won’t always reach the level of performance which we pride ourselves on.”
“We have to manage the peaks and troughs of this long, tough season. There is always a flatness in performance after a win in the manner that we had against St Pats, we had to deal with six missing from that game, some of what are key players.”
“We had to draw down on the under 18’s and there was a couple of players who were pretty bust up and on another day we wouldn’t of played them.”
“Oulton’s coach was open in saying that it was the best team he’d managed to put out all season! But still with 18 mins left in the game we were winning 40 points to 12 and for the remainder of the game we conceded 8 straight penalties on the bounce.”
“So when you put all that together I am proud we had 17 players prepared to pull together under those circumstances to get the win and there’s certainly been some good individual performances by those coming into the side in recent weeks, such as Joe Harrison and Gareth Pain”
With Allan Coleman saying “I thought we was very flat, but you get that sometimes after a very big performance.”
“Also our preparation all week was poor, which i will take the blame for that and it wont happen again.”
“We just didn’t have any aggression and pace in the game, something we have been doing well. Our line speed was none existence, but we have been working hard to put that right for this week.”
On this week’s game against Lock Lane, Whitworth said “We fell just short when we went away earlier in the season but battled hard and had the chance to snatch it at the end.”
“It’s always a difficult pitch for us but today we’re on a pitch that suits us. No doubt they have some quality and we will have to be at our best.”
“They like to play to their strengths on the right, Cryer jumps out well and Danny Rowse will test us all afternoon on the last plays.”
“A priority for us is to smarten up our line defence and focus on getting the basics right. We’ve picked up a couple of injuries but we have a few returning so will look to keep our home record in-tact.”
With Coleman adding “We welcome Lock Lane, who are a very good side with there big pack and strong outside backs, so we will certainly have to be at our best”
“We are being tested now and over the next few weeks with our squad, I think were down to our last pivot. But it gives someone a chance to stake a claim in the side.”
“We need to defend very well and watch Danny Rowse who has a great kicking game, but the lads are working very hard and i would like to thank them for that”
“I would also just like to send my condolences to John Cooke and his family who tragically lost his wife on Tuesday. Myself and the boys will certainly be giving everything for John on Saturday.”
“A TRUE MINERS LEGEND IS JOHN”
Lock Lane travel to Leigh at virtually full strength after having several key players missing last weekend in their 30-16 home defeat against Rochdale Mayfield. The defeat dropping the Castleford outfit down into sixth position but with having the second best away record in the Premier Division, which consists of three wins and a draw from their six games on the road they will be confident of bouncing back this weekend.
When the two teams met in Round 8, Miners led 24-21 going into the final ten minutes or so after recovering from being 21-12 down at the break. Before Lock Lane loose forward Chris Siddons sealed the win with a try, Danny Rowse converting to give the final score 27-24.
Leigh Miners second team and Ladies both have free weekends.
The u18s are away on Sunday against Bank Quay Bulls in the league.