OLD Crossleyans make the short trip to Cleckheaton tomorrow boosted by their best performance of the season in last weekend’s 38-14 home win over Sheffield.
That success has given them real hope that they can pull off another great escape from relegation in North One East, although skipper James Wainwright concedes there is still much work to do to bridge the 10-point gap between his third-from-bottom team and the sides currently in the safe positions.
Wainwright is confident five points will come from a re-arranged home game against Team Northumbria and believes another 14 points from the other five games could be enough.
Cleckheaton will be looking to make it a clean sweep against the two Calderdale clubs this season, having already beaten Brods three times and Crocs by 41-34 at Broomfield on November 5.
However, Wainwright believes Crocs can avenge the November defeat, when they were reduced to 14 men by the dismissal of Ryan Hammond.
Cleckheaton’s results suggest they are unpredictable but Wainwright said: “If we play like we did last week we can definitely turn them over. We made Sheffield look pretty average and they were fourth or fifth in the table.
“Cleckheaton are a decent side but not world-beaters and we are playing a lot better than we were when we lost to them last time.”
Skipper Wainwright will be looking to show he has another string to his bow. The winger or scrum half will be trying his hand in the back row alongside Manny Riaz and Rob Oliver in the absence of Danny Booth, whose season is over as he heads off travelling.
That allows Joe Baker to get a start on the wing.
Player-coach Chris Jones (knee) is still out but lock Kev McGill returns on the bench alongside prop Mark Palmer with the third replacement yet to be named.