Wharfedale’s players have been warned to keep their composure when National League One strugglers Tynedale visit The Avenue on Saturday.
The North East side are currently second from bottom but their confidence will have been boosted by Saturday’s 34-13 win over Old Albanians.
Coach Jon Feeley, who was delighted with Wharfedale’s 27-7 away win at Loughborough Students, has urged his men to be on their guard.
“Playing teams who are fighting for survival is never easy at this time of the year,” he said.
“They will be desperate men and will be pushing everything to the limit all over the park so it is important we don’t get distracted from our own game,”
Tynedale’s ranks have been boosted by a number of loan signings in recent weeks. One of them is former Otley back row Dan Temm whose parent club in Newcastle Knights.
Feeley added: “Tynedale are a club from a rural background like us and I have a lot of respect for them.
“Obviously it would be nice if they can stay up as they are another northern team, but I don’t want them to make progress at our expense.”
Wharfedale have learned this week that they will be without talented back Christian Georgiou for the next six weeks.
The Leeds loanee is undergoing eye surgery to correct a problem with his vision. “It’s a blow to lose him because he has played so well at full back or centre,” said Feeley.
The coach has also revealed that club vice-captain Adam Whaites will be out for the rest of the season.
He requires an operation to repair damaged ankle ligaments.
Whaites, who has overcome cancer and fought back from a serious leg injury in recent seasons, is still making his presence felt around the club.
“Adam has proved a key member of the leadership team and he is still coming down to matches to assist.
“He has had rotten luck with injuries in recent years and deserves a change of luck,” said Feeley.
Wharfedale have made two changes for the clash with Tynedale. Nick Taylor, a replacement at Lough- borough, takes over at full back from Georgiou while second row Richard Brown returns after a one-match suspension replace Adam Howard who has a shoulder injury.
Matt Dudman, one of last week’s star performers, continues at scrum half with the considerable presence of Phil Woodhead on the bench, where he is joined by England international Dan Scarbrough, recovered from the injury which prevented his participation last week. veteran prop Neil Dickinson, and fellow forwards Chris Howick and Josh Burridge.
Although Howick is normally a flanker, coach Jon Feeley is using him to provide back up to young hooker Dan Stockdale as Ian Larkin and Luke Cole are injured.
The form book has this match as a home banker, Wharfedale lying fifth on 55 points, Tynedale second from bottom on 24 points Wharfedale’s comfortable victory by 40-27 at Corbridge last September was built on total domination of the set scrum, but there are signs that Tynedale are at last bolstering their pack, with important loan players.
Their away record this season, however, is very poor, with no wins and only four bonus points to show for their efforts from nine matches.
Wharfedale: Nick Taylor; Scott Jordan, Joe Donkin, Tom Davidson, Josh Prell; Tom Barrett, Matt Dudman; Chris Steel (c), Dan Stockdale, Jake Armstrong, Richard Brown, Richard Rhodes, Jack Barnard, Aaron Myers, Rob Baldwin. Replacements: Neil Dickinson, Chris Howick, Josh Burridge, Philip Woodhead, Dan Scarbrough.