Crocs aim to bounce back on home soil

Old Crossleyans return to Broomfield in North East One tomorrow, with East Yorkshire outfit Pocklington the visitors.

Crocs, in such impressive form so far this season, will be out to atone for a rare setback, having lost out 15-14 in a knife-edge encounter at Morpeth last weekend.

“It was a game that could have gone either way,” said captain James Wainwright.

“The bottom line was that they took their chances better than we did.

“They probably had three chances and scored them all; maybe we had four or five and didn’t take them.

“To give them credit, they were a pretty good defensive outfit.

“We have been creating a lot of opportunities recently and they restricted us.

“The positive was that we came away with a losing bonus point, which was better than coming back empty handed.

“But we’re looking forward to getting back on our own pitch this weekend.”

Wainwright is wary of Pocklington, although he admitted he expects the visiting side to take a no-frills approach.

“I think they’ll be reasonably basic in their approach,” he said.

“We need to compete up front, win a share of the ball, and then be confident enough to play a more expansive game.

“It won’t be easy, but it’s a game where people will expect us to pick up points.”

Crocs will have Kev McGill back in the second row, while James Cooper is likely to make a return on the bench.

“We made hard work of it in the scrums last week and Kev should give us some strength there,” said Wainwright.

“We didn’t have our strongest bench last week and basically played the game with the same 15; we should have more impact substitutions available to us tomorrow.”

Joe Launchbury will make his first Test start after England head coach Stuart Lancaster made six changes for tomorrow’s QBE international against South Africa.

The 21-year-old Wasps lock has replaced his club-mate Tom Palmer from the second row as part of a forward reshuffle that has seen Lancaster change half his pack from the 20-14 defeat to Australia.