AFTER four straight wins at the start of the season, during which they scored 157 points, Bradford & Bingley have found life much harder since in North One East.

Three successive losses have dropped them to eighth in a competitive division, but they have a good chance to get back on the horse tomorrow when they host third-from-bottom Pocklington (2.15pm).

The nagging doubt, however, is the forward battle on what is bound to be a heavy pitch.

"It is a bit like England v South Africa," explained Bees' head coach Hugh Gumbs.

"Pocklington have a very big pack, including a massive front five, but we will be selecting from full strength, with Alex Keeton (tight-head prop) set for his first outing of the season.

"We also hope to have Sam White (hooker) and Ali Macdonald (back row) back as well as Semisi Maasi, who is likely to play at full back after serving a three-match suspension.

"In addition we could have Cameron Bainbridge returning after a long-term injury, but he will have a late fitness test to see whether he starts for the first XV or the second XV.

"The good thing is that we have real competition for places now in the forwards and the backs so people are going to have to play well to keep hold of the shirt."

Another factor in Bradford & Bingley's favour could be that they have had a fortnight off while Pocklington played as recently as Tuesday night, defeating Malton & Norton 23-14 at home in a re-arranged league match.

Unchanged Cleckheaton, who are third, have a tasty home derby against sixth-placed Morley, with the match kicking off at 3pm as there is a pre-match luncheon and there are floodlights at Moorend.

Player-coach Thiu Barnard is not getting carried away by Cleck's fine start, however, saying: "We had a great pre-season, which gave us our fitness, but we are setting ourselves no targets and are taking it game by game."

In Yorkshire Division One, both Bradford Salem (10th) and Keighley (12th) have decent opportunities to add to their tally of league points, with Salem at basement boys Hullensians (14th) and Keighley at next-to-bottom Pontefract.

However, Salem chairman Neil Klenk is wary of the trip to East Yorkshire, despite his team having a decent record.

He remembered: "When the Bees went up from our division in 2013-14, the only match they lost all season was at Hullensians, which is a very difficult place for visitors to win at.

"We are certainly not taking it for granted and will have to play well to beat them, but we are taking a full-strength squad as the two-week break has given players time to get over their niggling injuries."

Old Grovians, who are third, entertain leaders Roundhegians in Yorkshire Division Two, while Yorkshire Division Three front-runners Leeds Corinthians are at Baildon, who are fourth.

Wibsey, two places below their derby rivals, are a bit worried as to how their Northfield Road pitch will stand up to all this rain.

However, they are hopeful that their match against 13th-placed Hemsworth will go ahead.

If it does, the Villagers will play Harry Hall at No 8 instead of the unavailable Michael Kite.

Player-coach Andy Robison explained: "We need someone we can lift in the line-out and Harry has played rugby league in the second row and the back row."

The versatile Scott Smith is in the second row.

Wibsey (home to Hemworth): R Smith; B Mpofu, R Moore, A Batey, J Payton; A Robinson, K Carter; J Bradbury, J Brown, A Rose, E Cousins, S Smith, A Jefferson, H Hall, M Darragh. Replacements: A Armitage, R Greenwood, A N Other.