Leigh Miners travel to Humberside on Saturday to take on champions West Hull in a rearranged NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division Round 2 fixture, after the original game was postponed in March due to Miners involvement in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round against Oxford RL, Kick off 2-30pm at West Hull Community Park.
Miners travel up the M62 on the back of a 34-24 home victory last weekend against Egremont Rangers, being under the pump early in the match before taking complete control of the first half to lead 22-0 at the break. After the break Egremont come out strong with Miners not really helping themselves in the second half, making the game a lot tougher than it needed to be by turning the ball over to easily and defending sloppily at times.
This week the two competition points are massively important to both sides, with West Hull needing all the points they can get in their bid to avoid the drop and Miners looking for their third away win of the campaign to move them joint top of the table with Rochdale Mayfield. The players are looking forward to the trip to Hull and know they will have to be on the ball for the full eighty minutes, if they are to keep their 100% record of winning at West Hull in the summer era.
Coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth are forced into making five changes from last week’s win against Egremont, with Tom Farrimond, Harry Gagen, Joe Lorimer, Connor Ratcliffe and Adam Smith coming in for Danny Jones (injured), Mark Nicholson, Mike O’Boyle (injured), Connor Partington (work) and Charles Tyson.
Looking back at last week’s win against Egremont, coach Paul Whitworth said “As a group we set our standards high and in some areas we fell short.”
“Our first half performance was good, we stuck to our processes and we got back to playing our brand of rugby. Our line defence was good but we got a little soft defensively later in the game.”
“We maybe felt we had done enough too soon and stopped doing the small, important things that keep the pressure on and we need to be conscious of that.”
“But credit to the players with their response as it again shows they are not willing to give up the points.”
On this week’s game at West Hull, Whitworth added “We will be travelling up there expecting a really tough game, just as we got when we met in the cup earlier in the season.”
“They sit near the foot of the table but they have only been a score away from winning most of the games they have lost.”
“Wins in their last two and one of those being against the league leaders, they will have found more confidence.”
“We know if we don’t turn prepare well enough with the right attitude they have the threats to punish us.”
“We like playing their pitch and we haven’t yet put in the complete performance, we saw glimpses of it last week and I expect to see improvement again this week.”
West Hull go into Saturday’s game with back to back league victories under their belts, beating rock bottom Oulton Raiders (24-10) at the beginning of August and last week beating league leaders Rochdale Mayfield (42-34). The two wins moving last years all conquering Wests side into tenth position on 11 points.
The green and golds are now only four points behind ninth place Egremont with a game in hand, knowing they will need to win as many of their seven remaining matches as possible to avoid relegation and remain in the top flight.
Saturday will be the first meeting between the sides this year in the league, but they did meet each other in early March at Twist Lane in the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup. Miners firing out the blocks scoring five first half tries to take a 28-10 lead into the break, with West Hull storming back in the second half to level the game at 28-28. Before a late Bud Skinkis try won the game for Miners.
Leigh Miners second team are away at Orrell St James on Saturday in a top of the table league clash. Miners will be looking to bounce back after a heavy defeat against Bank Quay Bulls last weekend.
The u18s have no game now until the 6th September when they take on Rochdale Mayfield in the Lancashire Cup semi final replay. Mick Blakely’s lads finished their league campaign in fifth position.
Leigh Miners Ladies have no game this weekend and are back in action on the 13th September.