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Wharfedale facing the ultimate test
It is commonly claimed among the Wharfedale faithful that the team play their best against the better sides, while struggling against the strugglers.
They get a chance on Saturday to put that to the ultimate test when they travel to Ealing Trailfinders, the SSE National League One champions elect who sit atop the league with a nine-point lead over the pack and a game in hand.
Despite coming a valiant second to last year’s champions Jersey, many at Wharfedale thought the Trailfinders the best team in the division, borne out this season with a home record which shows just one defeat.
At The Avenue in Octobe,r they won by 41-17, scoring five tries in the process.
Wharfedale go into the match with their confidence boosted by a win last Saturday over Loughborough Students.
The performance, however, was well below what will be required for a repeat in west London - a fact recognised by coach Tom McGee.
He said: “Our performance against the Students was definitely a step in the right direction but Ealing will be a different proposition.
"However, I was pleased with the way the players set about their task, and I know that they will be up for Saturday’s challenge.”
The selectors, in anticipation of the important run-in to the end of the season, have rotated the key positions of hooker and scrum half, giving a start to Ian Larkin and James Gough. Lloyd Davies has recovered from illness and resumes on the wing.
Wharfedale (at Ealing Trailfinders): A Whaites; L Davies, L Gray, J Tincknell, J Donkin; T Barrett, J Gough; A Howard, I Larkin, M Tampin, R Brown, R Rhodes, A Allen, A Myers, D Solomi. Replacements: J Altham, S Graham, J Mason, P Woodhead, S Horsfall.