RUGBY PREVIEW: Pocklington v West Hartlepool

BAILEY STAR: Iiam Bailey in action in West V Huddersfield
BAILEY STAR: Iiam Bailey in action in West V Huddersfield

WEST Hartlepool can climb another step on the promotion ladder if they complete a quickfire Yorkshire double tomorrow.

West visit Pocklington in North One East’s match of the day, just seven days after recording a super victory over the league’s form side Huddersfield YMCA.

That 30-19 success saw Iain Dixon and Peter Robinson’s team leapfrog YMCA into third and they are now only a point behind Pock ahead of tomorrow’s maiden visit to Feathers Field (kick-off 2.15pm).

And a win for West tomorrow just outside York would see them replace the hosts in second spot.

Pocklington and West have near identical records – both sides have won eight out of 11, with the Yorkshire side’s points difference 123 compared to the 120 of the Brinkburn outfit.

“It will be another tasty game,” Dixon told SportMail.

“I expect them to be like Huddersfield YMCA.

“They came to Brinkburn and gave it a good go and threw the ball around nicely.

“Pocklington will doubtless have a big pack and a big 12.

“They will be well drilled and a hard test.

“We have all the tools in our side to get five points each time we play, but sometimes our application on the day lets us down.

“But from the middle of October onwards we have been firing on all cylinders, it’s been good and we’ve got to keep that going.”

Pocklington started the programme with six straight wins but they have lost three of the last five, including a 20-12 home defeat to relegation candidates Alnwick in their last match at Percy Road.

West looked in good touch last week thanks to an all-round display.

The pack, again, performed superbly in the set-pieces and Dixon paid tribute to felow coach and forwards guru, Robinson.

“We’re not the biggest pack in the league by any means,” Dixon explained. “But they are well drilled.

“And credit goes to Peter Robbo for the that.

“The scrummages and line-outs are getting better every week – we’re very happy with the forwards.”

The backs are pretty warm too with Liam Bailey and Andrew Cheslin catching the eye in the midfield.

“Liam has been a helluva find for us at centre,” said Dixon. “He and Andy Ches have been brilliant as a centre pairing.

“They have struck up an excellent partnership.”

West make just one change tomorrow, former skipper Anth Carr making a welcome return at prop to cover for the unavailable Ian Pinchen.

West: C Cheslin, S Butcher, A Cheslin L Bailey, L Mallinson, S Waites, R Painter, A Carr, A Rollins, A Coates, M Hogan, A Bennett, D Boatman (capt), J Boatman, S Miller. Subs: A Dixon, A Turner, S Jameson

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