Wharfedale head coach Jon Feeley has warned Yorkshire rivals Doncaster that his players will rise to the challenge of taking on the National One leaders at Threshfields today.
The Greens versus the Knights is the game of the day in the third tier, pitting the in-form upstarts from north Yorkshire against their full-time promotion favourites from the south.
“This is the type of fixture our boys rise to,” said Feeley, whose side are fifth after a run of just two defeats in their last 10.
“We know they’re going to present a lot of problems to us, particularly up front, but being at home and being underdogs is a scenario my players thrive off.”
Wharfedale have to make do without four dual-registered players from Leeds today – including Jack Barnard and Ben Hooper – which shows the flip side of such deals between neighbouring clubs.
But they do welcome back Philip Woodhead and Aaron Myers.
Doncaster go into the game on the back of successive home wins over the teams closest to them in the league.
Victories over Esher and Rosslyn Park helped Clive Griffiths’s Knights keep the chasing pack at arms length, and had been vital given their recent troubles on the road. They managed to put that behind them at Old Albanians a fortnight ago, but Wharfedale will present a much trickier challenge given their own recent form.
Knights scrum-half Bruno Bravo – who has been one of the stars of the season for Doncaster – said: “We know they have a very big and well-drilled forward pack, so it will be a tricky place to visit.
“They know how to play their pitch tactically and we are going to have to learn to do the same quickly.
“It will definitely be a battle and we must be on top of our game if we are to get the win.
“Our main focus will be to be more clinical, we need to turn pressure into points consistently.”
Bottom-club Hull Ionians host promotion-chasing Esher after a week disrupted by a cancellation to training on Thursday, brought about by the high winds in the area.