CHASING their first victory of 2022, Baildon travel to local rivals Old Grovians today in an eye-catching fixture.

The two sides last locked horns on September 25 in an enthralling contest, Baildon just edging a 23-19 victory on that occasion.

Grovians have home advantage this time and will be looking for revenge on their West Yorkshire neighbours.

Baildon returned to the field last weekend as they hosted high flying Hullensians, after almost a month away.

They may have shaken off a few lasting cobwebs, but it was the away side who showed their class and they cruised to a 14-33 victory.

Ahead of this the derby this weekend, head coach Jake Duxbury is expecting another tough battle despite Grovians sitting second from bottom.

He said: "We will approach this game like any other, but we had a very tightly contested fixture with Old Grovians earlier on in the season and we expect a similar situation this weekend.

"We need to focus on our game as we back our own game. It's something we have continually put across to the players throughout the campaign.

"It's all about going out there with a smile on your face and making sure you enjoy what you are doing, so that's what we will try to do again this weekend.

"If you focus on the derby occasion then you can caught up in the action. If we put that to the back of our minds then it will stand us in better shape.

"Grovians have talent all over the pitch. Like us, they do have struggles sometimes with player availability but them seem to have found their feet and picked up a fantastic result last weekend, so we expect them to come into the game with all guns blazing.

"I do know a number of their players and there is real quality, so we will have to put on a show if we want to get the victory. We both like to play rugby in the right way which I feel is quick and fast rugby, where the ball is being visibly moved around the park at good speed.

"It's certainly a game for the spectators."

It was Baildon's first game back against Hullensians last weekend, and that tie saw them return to the field for the first time in almost a month.

Despite the lack of game time for Duxbury's side in that period, the boss believes the rest might work to his side's benefit in the long run.

He said: "The decision was almost taken out of our hands. The players still wanted to play in the lead up to Christmas, but the RFU gave us the choice of not playing because of the number of rising Covid cases.

"Ultimately, the safety of the players has to come first. It was definitely the right decision to make.

"We didn't do much over Christmas because we purposely used that time to rest and regroup.

"Although it might take us a bit of time to get back into the swing of things as it perhaps showed in the game against Hullensians, I feel the break was a blessing and we'll soon see the benefits."