Horden RFU face brute strength of Pocklington

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HORDEN are braced for a battle of brute strength when they play their opening home North One East game of the season against Pocklington.

The Yorkshire side come to Welfare Park with an opening-day 27-19 win over Ilkley under their belt and with a reputation for forward might (kick-off 3pm).

It is a reputation Horden are not unaccustomed to and they will happily go toe-to-toe with their visitors.

Horden head coach Glenn Bowman said: “By all accounts, Pocklington have a big pack and like to catch and drive close to the line.

“So it sounds like it’s going to be a hard, physical battle up front.

“I’m sure our lads will fancy that, especially at the Welfare.”

Horden began with another East Yorkshire fixture - although Driffield are more noted for their expansive play.

The colliery side lost 32-3, undone by a period of clinical home finishing either side of the interval.

“Despite the scoreline there were positives to take from the performance,” Bowman told SportMail.

“We were physical, defended well at times and created opportunities.

“Even though we fell behind, the lads never stopped battling for 80 minutes.

“If we can keep hold of the ball a bit better, be patient and organise quicker then I’m confident we’ll do well.”

And while Horden are unlikely to ever shy away from a physical confrontation, Bowman is well aware his side have an attacking gem in David Heckles.

The free-running number 15 is someone they want to capitalise on.

“In Davy Heckles we’ve got a real attacking threat at full-back,” said the coach.

“I thought we were a little conservative in attack at times last week and didn’t use him enough.

“We need to get him into the game more.”

Bowman had praise for last week’s debutant Taz Pelser.

The South African, a summer signing from Rovers, played well at scrum-half at Kelleythorpe.

“Taz had a great debut,” said Bowman. “He’s still learning our systems so things didn’t always click.

“But the breaks he made and the cover tackles he put in were spot on, exactly what we were looking for.”

Horden make just the one change to the forward unit, Chris Wood starting at hooker, with Steven Heckles dropping down to the bench.

In the backs, Cameron Stables returns on the wing in place of Jack McCallum, who made a promising debut. The rest of the three-quarters are otherwise unchanged.

“Hecks is unlucky to miss out,” admitted Bowman.

“He had a good game last week but we’re looking to improve our line-out performance and with Chrissy in, it allows Micky Thompson to become one of the lifters which we expect to improve things.

“Cam will give us a bit more gas out wide, he’s a threat with ball in hand.”