Greenwood: Siddal will have no excuses

Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood has challenged his players to take their home form on the road ahead of tomorrow’s Grand Final qualifier at Wath Brow.

Calderdale’s finest will head to Cumbria gunning for a fourth successive appearance in the National Conference showpiece against the team who pipped them to the League Leaders’ prize on points difference.

Wath Brow - whose attack revolves around the New Zealander and former Whitehaven playmaker Leroy Joe - are undefeated on home soil this year, but were convincingly beaten 38-12 at Chevinedge at the end of October.

“They’ve got a great home record and there’s no getting away from that,” said Greenwood, who has presided over a remarkable upsurge in form since taking over from his older brother Lee earlier in the year.

“But if we can beat them at home, we can beat them at their place.

“If you don’t believe that, it’s like saying we can’t handle the journey, which would be pretty pathetic.

“It’s something they deal with successfully and there is no reason why we can’t either.

“The record books will say they won the league, but we only lost out by 50 points or so on the scoring difference and we actually ended up winning more games than them over the year.

“In my mind, we’re sharing that prize with them, especially when you consider where we were earlier in the year.”

Defeat would not prove fatal to Siddal’s hopes, with a second-chance home tie the following week offering a safety net for Greenwood and his players.

“We’re not thinking about that,” said Greenwood. “We know it’s there if we need it, and from a rugby point of view an extra game would not do us any harm, but it’s all about getting the job done tomorrow.”

Siddal will have prop Scott Law and back rower Jaymes Chapman in their side, although Liam Green, Steve Hope and Chris Brooke are all ruled out with injuries.

But Greenwood, who will again play alongside Shaun Garrod in the halves, underlined that trio - plus long-term absentee Oli Marns (fractured eye socket) - could all be in contention for the club’s next game.

“Everyone who plays this weekend has to play really, really well if they want to have a chance of keeping their places,” said Greenwood.

“For me, someone like Oli has earned his place by what he’s done all year.

“If he was fit it would be extremely difficult to leave him out. Equally, we can’t be easing people in; you’re either ready or not.”