SIDDAL’S caretaker coach Nick Smith will be looking for his second win in as many games since taking temporary charge when the Chevinedge side head to Wigan St Patricks in the Premier Division of the National Conference tomorrow.
Smith, the club’s long-serving back rower and captain, stepped up last week following the resignation of head coach Lee Greenwood.
And after guiding his side to a 36-20 cup win over Dewsbury Celtic, he is now looking to back that up in league action.
“It’s gone okay this week; the attitude has been good and we’ve had good numbers,” said Smith.
“Now it’s down to the players to turn up ready to play tomorrow.”
Win or lose though, Smith made it clear he is not interested in coaching the club permanently - at least not yet.
“You’d never say never in the future, but not at the moment,” said the 32 year old.
“I just want to concentrate on playing for the moment.
“I’m getting on a bit now and I want to make sure I make the most of of that side of things while I can.
“I don’t think player-coaching is an option either; I know people do it but it’s very difficult.”
Siddal will welcome back hooker Simeon Hoyle tomorrow, although Danny Williams and Richard Lopag are both unavailable.
Oli Marns, the former league and union professional, will make his second appearance for the club at centre having been a last-minute addition to last week’s line up.
“Oli’s a quality player,” said Smith.
“He’s not played league for a while, but he’ll soon find his feet.”
ELLAND coach Karl Fairbank takes his side to Featherstone Lions tomorrow for a Division Two clash which he believes will provide an indicator for the rest of the season.
Fairbank watched his side slip to a last-play cup defeat by Askam last weekend, the visitors losing 36-32 after leading 32-30 in the final seconds.
And the former Great Britain international admitted he will be closely monitoring how his players respond to that disappointment.
“We have had a few harsh words at training this week and they got a hard time on Tuesday night, with a lot of defensive work,” said Fairbank, whose side currently sit in mid-table, with a 50 per cent record after eight starts.
“I don’t think we could have a better test of how we react now than going to somewhere like Featherstone.
“I think this is a big, big test, to see how we deal with that and it’s going to show what the rest of the season might hold for us.
“We are not so far off where we want to be, we just need to generate a bit of winning momentum now.”
Fairbank will add under 18s centre Tom Harnett to his squad, a player he describes as “up and coming”, while full back Dean Avis could also return after injury.
Stainland Stags prop Paul Davis could make his first appearance in the Conference after linking with Elland for the summer.
Elland have already tamed the Lions once, with a convincing home win on the opening day of the season.
“I don’t think we can read too much into that,” said Fairbank.
“It was their first game at this level for a few years and they looked like a team that had a lot of improvement in them.”