THERE will be youngsters galore on the pitch this Saturday when Wharfedale visit Loughborough Students in the National Two North but the Greens' coach, Jon Feeley, feels there is one key area where his team can dominate.

He admitted that both young teams possess similar qualities, with pace and free-flowing rugby in abundance, but felt that slow ball in the ruck could prove to be the Students' downfall.

Feeley backed two of his forwards to be key players in Saturday's game, and said: "It will be tough. Loughborough get the ball wide and they play fast, free-flowing rugby.

"But they don't like the ruck, they want quick ball, so that's where we're good.

"They'll need to recover the ball back quickly but we've got players like Matty Houghton (blindside flanker) and Matt Speres (openside flanker) who will make that very difficult."

Houghton and Speres are two of the more experienced heads at Wharfedale, as is captain George Hedgley, despite him only turning 24 in September.

Praising the lock, Feeley said: "It's George's first full season as captain and he's very proud to lead the team.

"George is still learning, but he's doing it very quickly. I thought he captained the side well against Caldy on Saturday. They're a side known for their verbals and their captain appealed a lot.

"But George didn't get drawn into it or let it get under our skin."

Hedgley's mature approach is a positive example to a youthful Wharfedale side, with their regular first XV this season containing four 18-year-olds from last year's Colts.

Effusive in his praise of the teenagers, Feeley said: "The squad itself is very young and although they lack experience, it does have its advantages.

"They're quick, hungry and show some skill. We lost on Saturday but there was plenty to take from the game.

"We had two front row props (Ben Patchett and Sam Dickinson) who are both 18, holding their own against county standard props.

"Then there was Oscar Canny (centre) and Henry MacNab (scrum-half) who made decisive breaks into space, and they'll only get better over time."

Feeley did feel it was perhaps that keenness of youth which cost his side at crucial moments during their brave 16-11 home defeat to Caldy on Saturday though.

Explaining his thinking, he said: "At times we lacked composure, and instead of maintaining phases and creating pressure, we played low percentage balls (passes), instead of taking simple options, too close to their line.

"That's probably down to our youth and keenness to convert points, which just led to some bad decisions."

He was delighted with his side's efforts overall though, saying: "The biggest positive is that we were disappointed after Saturday, after losing against the best team in the league.

"So we're capable of beating any team if we raise our levels like that. Now, the players have to realise that we can win every game."