Boss Cole banking on pack revamp to pay dividends

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Old Brodleians head to Settle in Yorkshire One tomorrow banking on their increased forward power to get a result at a venue where they have struggled in the past .

John Cole’s side kicked off the season with a win last weekend, storming back from 13-3 down at the break to beat Dinnington with tries from the New Zealand centre Sam Deacon and his midfield partner and former rugby league player David Spivey.

And now Cole wants his side to back up with a second succcess at a venue where grunt up front is a prerequisite.

“We went up there and really got dismantled last year,” said Cole.

“But we have a better pack this season than last, so hopefully we can give our backs the chance to win the game for us.

“Historically, it has been a difficult game for us, so to go and get a win there would be a big thing.

“When we played how we wanted to play last weekend, we went well.

“We struggled a little bit in the first half up the hill into the wind, but 13-3 isn’t a big deficit to wipe out if you know how to play that slope properly.

“We picked up our points when we could and Sam’s try meant we were never really chasing the game.

“He got us on the front foot and we just kicked on from there.”

Brods have injury doubts over Ryan Harris, who injured his shoulder, and Matty Hoyle.

“Ryan’s going to struggle, but Matty wrapped himself round the posts making a try-saving tackle and we’re hopeful he’ll come through in time,” said Cole.

Halifax open up their Yorkshire Four season against Sheffield Oaks tomorrow buoyed by a morale-boosting win over Bradford and Bingley’s second string last weekend.

Mark Walton’s side ran out 49-27 against their near-neighbours, leaving new captain Dwaine West - who has taken the armband off Tony Curtis - to talk brightly about prospects at Ovenden Park.

“I think we’re feeling pretty optimistic,” said West, who picked out the former Halifax RL junior Ben Benn and footballer-turned-union-man Mark Heppenstall as the pick of the club’s close-season recruits.

“We feel like we’re going in the right direction and we’ve played some decent rugby during pre season.

“We always start the year looking to push for the league title, but we have struggled at times to get the full team on the field week in, week out.

“But this year people seem to have planned things round the team, so hopefully we will get some continuity.

“I think it’s the same for most teams at this level; if you get your best team out there most weeks, you give yourself a chance.”