Hull Pirates v Leeds Chiefs - Jason Hewitt expecting another tough night from Yorkshire rivals
HULL PIRATES coach Jason Hewitt expects to face-off against a Leeds Chiefs team bristling with a never-say-die attitude on Saturday night.
READ MORE - Leeds Chiefs coach Sam Zajac happy with his options ahead of derby date at Hull PiratesHull welcome NIHL National newcomers Leeds for a second time this season, the previous encounter between the two a fortnight ago going the way of the hosts in a 5-4 overtime win.
The Pirates have teamed up with the British Army to create a new Yorkshire Remembrance Day trophy, sponsored by the Royal British Legion, the SSAFA (the Armed Forces Charity), and the Defence School of Transport.
Hewitt – missing the first clash against the Chiefs due to work commitments – expects another close encounter against a team who have proved an obdurate opponent to all of their league rivals so far this season.
“They don’t give up and while they’ve got Sam Gospel in net they are always going to have a chance because he is an exceptional goalie,” said Hewitt.
“I know he’s been playing out of his skin at times and is probably a big reason why they’ve been in a lot of close games.
“We are quite an offensive team so we’ll be looking to pile it on a bit but, knowing Sammy and some of the other guys on that team, they are never going to quit.
“They are a hard-working, blue-collar team. That’s really what I expected of them when we started out this season and, judging by the feedback I’ve had from various people, that’s exactly what they have been.”
READ MORE - Leeds Chiefs urged to make temporary 'homes' tough places to visit for NIHL National rivalsREAD MORE - Reasons to be cheerful for Leeds Chiefs' Richard Bentham as he returns 'home'While it may still be early in the season, Hewitt admits the gap between his team and current leaders Swindon Wildcats – who visit the Chiefs at Widnes tomorrow night – is a slight concern.
Fifth-placed Hull already find themselves 10 points adrift of their Wiltshire rivals, albeit with two games in hand.
Hewitt is confident his team can take care of their own business and win their remaining three games against the Wildcats, but he acknowledges they are already relying on results elsewhere in order to overturn the gap.
“Obviously, there are still a lot of games to go and you wouldn’t usually already be looking at it (the table) already,” added Hewitt.
“We only play them three more times so that doesn’t see us close that gap - you are already relying on other teams and it does look quite daunting.
“And with the team they’ve got they are certainly capable of running away with it.”