Wharfedale set for joust with Knights

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coach Jon Feeley Coach Jon Feeley

Wharfedale would love to become the first side to put a blot on table-topping Doncaster Knights’ perfect home record on Saturday.

The Greens head for Castle Park looking to repeat the 19-17 victory they scored over the SSE National League One leaders at The Avenue.

But coach Jon Feeley knows that, despite last week’s 28-25 win at Old Albanians which ended a run of six straight defeats, his team will be big underdogs.

He said: “Doncaster are a physical side with a lot of players who have experience of playing at a higher level.

“Some of them, like their captain Matt Challinor, were team-mates of mine at Rotherham.

“They are a good side but they are not perfect. We have to believe in ourselves and remember the things we were doing well before Christmas.”

The victory at Old Albanians has all but dispelled any fears of the Greens being dragged into the relegation zone.

The players who achieved that success have also been rewarded. There is just one enforced change to the starting line-up, with the injured Jack Barnard being replaced by Josh Burridge in the back row. Fit-again Matt Dudman and Dan Scarbrough have been named among the replacements.

Feeley said: “There was a huge difference in our performance last week. It has felt like a long process we have been going through. It always feels that way when you are losing matches and your confidence is low.

“I was delighted with our mental approach, the resolve we showed when we were under pressure and the ruthlessness we showed in our execution. That was crucial.”

He added: “During our losing run we had a lot of disruption to our side through injuries. We had players missing in key positions and had others battling through games carrying knocks.

“Thankfully the injury situation has eased thanks to to the hard work of our physios.

“Key players like our skipper Chris Steel and pack leader Richard Rhodes have benefited from getting a full 80 minutes in recent games.”

“Being able to field a settled side and retaining key links across the team is extremely important."

Wharfedale: Nick Taylor; Scott Jordan, Christian Georgiou, Tom Davidson, Josh Prell; Tom Barrett, Philip Woodhead; Chris Steel (captain), Luke Cole, Jake Armstrong, Richard Rhodes, Alex Powell, Josh Burridge, Aaron Myers, Rob Baldwin. Replacements: Adam Howard, Dan Stockdale, Richard Brown, Matt Dudman, Dan Scarbrough.

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