Brods aim to avoid a repeat mauling

OLD Brodleians coach Ian Armitage is a big admirer of Team Northumbria's style of play but he hopes his side can stifle the visitors' attacking flair at Woodhead tomorrow (2.15).

The sides are level on 41 points in North One East, although Brods have played two games more, but there was only one team in it when the sides met in the north east on October 9.

Team Northumbria won 41-10 and Armitage said: "They are a great team to watch.

"They pushed our scrum all over and we were weak down the channels so they ran in four tries in the first 20 minutes."

Armitage believes Brods' set piece has improved since then and the Hipperholme men have been working hard on a plan to deal with Northumbria in training this week.

It will be based on aggressive defence and Armitage is hoping that an attack which showed some improvement last week will take another step forward.

Brods have lost to Percy Park and Pontefract in the last fortnight, going down to a long-range drop goal away to their West Yorkshire rivals last week.

Armitage said it had been a thrilling game but Brods' young side had paid for not being streetwise enough after building a decent lead with the elements in their favour.

"We undid ourselves," he said. "We have to learn to close games down, control possession and play in the right areas of the field.

Armitage said there were still plenty of plus points, particularly in the performances of Callum Thompson and Tom Hanson in the pack.

Hanson will have a different second row partner tomorrow in Kyle Millward, who the coach believes deserves a chance after being on the bench a couple of times.

Ollie Akroyd, who Armitage felt was "a cut above" last week, continues at No 8 alongside Ben Hoyle and Steve Shaw.

Joe Armitage and Liam Scott continue at half-back with Johnny Hotham and Richard Holborough the midfield pairing.

Adam Standeven wins a recall with Louis Butler on the other flank and Matty Hoyle at fullback.

Dave Skinner, Matt Willis and Jack Moon - who has a Yorkshire Under 20s game on Sunday - are on the bench.

More weekend rugby union previews in Friday's Courier