Rugby Union: Morley are out to end miserable results run

Harrogate's Harry Parrish.Harrogate's Harry Parrish.
Harrogate's Harry Parrish.
Morley RUFC will look to defy all the odds and bring to an end their recent losing streak when they host Billingham tomorrow.

Despite losing each of their last six matches, the Maroons have not been lacking firepower, running in four tries last time out against Kendal.

They have also managed to pick up bonus points against Doncaster Phoenix and Ilkley that have kept them above Firwood Waterloo and Stockport at the bottom, both of whom are without a win in the season’s early stages.

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This is Morley’s first season back in National League Three North following their promotion from North One East last season.

They are hoping to secure their first victory against Billingham since December 2013, when they ran out 23-10 winners on their own turf, but Morley have lost every meeting since. Victory could take Morley above neighbours Cleckheaton in the table and move them further away from the relegation places, easing the worries of an instant return to the North One East division.

Meanwhile, sixth-placed Sandal entertain mid-table Ilkley.

Elsewhere, Dave Doherty said places were “up for grabs” in Harrogate’s squad for the trip to high-flying Sale this weekend in National Two North.

Following a run of only one win in eight matches under his control, Doherty believes a shake-up among the squad will be healthy against a team without a defeat at home this season.

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Harry Parrish and Jonny Giles are set to return from injury with Doherty keen to make changes to his back line.

“There will be positions up for grabs this weekend and I really want that,” said Doherty.

“Competition for places is always healthy and we want to keep people on their toes so they’re hungry for the position.

“A few of the forward have stepped up and put their hands up for a shirt. We have to make sure the backs are just as hungry. It may be a fact that they are trying too hard on some occasions.”

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He added: “They have a really dangerous back row and play to their strengths on a wide pitch. That’s going to be the challenge for us but we just have to be in control of what we can be.”

Divisional rivals Otley and Wharfedale play host to Tynedale and Leicester Lions respectively.