RUGBY PREVIEW: Rochdale v West Hartlepool

ON THEIR TRAVELS: Horden (pictured in action against Sheffield at Welfare Park)
ON THEIR TRAVELS: Horden (pictured in action against Sheffield at Welfare Park)

HORDEN are looking to “get something out of the game” tomorrow when they travel to Rochdale for a battle of two of the winless teams in North One East (kick-off 3pm).

While Horden suffering four defeats in a row is not a major shock, the fact that Rochdale have yet to pick up a win certainly is.

The Lancashire side were one of North one East’s most attractive sides last season and looked set to challenge West for third place in the league only to fade badly towards the end of the campaign.

Rochdale are not in the relegation zone because they have picked up losing bonus points in narrow defeats to Percy Park, West and Sheffield.

Horden have yet to pick up any points but head coach Glenn Bowman says if they can eradicate or even reduce the error count they could challenge their hosts tomorrow.

“Obviously, we are four games in and we’re still to get a point on the board,” he told SportMail.

“Hopefully we can make a start this weekend.

“I missed the game last week but we played some decent stuff but just didn’t take the chances we’d created. We’ve got to start finishing things off or that’s going to continue to hurt us.

“Last year [in Durham Northumberland One] we could afford to miss one or two and still end up winning the game.

“This season is a different story – we have to learn to be more clinical.

“We’re doing OK in certain areas of the game but we need to start to pull it all together.”

He added: “Our scrum was stronger last week and we’ve changed one or two things in the line-out so we expect that to go better.

“We need to look after the ball better when we have it, sometimes we’re too loose with ball in contact.

“We must stop reckless off-loads and be a bit more patient.

“It’s going to be another tough game but Rochdale haven’t had a great start and no doubt they’ll be targetting this as a game to win.

“But if we perform we’ve got a chance to get something from the game.

“We’ve got some young lads in the backline such as Andrew Docherty, Ross Brymer and Michael Turner.

“They’re looking forward to testing themselves at this level and have a great opportunity to stake a claim for the shirt.”

David Bains is unavailable so Luke Watson moves to number 10, while Andrew White partners Docherty in the centre.

The pack is largely unchanged though Carl Oliver returns after injury to sit on the bench where he will cover back row as well as centre and wing.

Horden: D Heckles, R Brymer, A White, A Docherty, M Turner, L Watson, T Pelser, J Hudson, M Thompson, G Malcolm, P Malcolm, P Armstrong, C Brown, C Purvis, P James (capt). Subs: C Wood, C Oliver, M McCallum