13 May 2022

National Conference League Round Ten Preview

National Conference League Round Ten Preview

Once again there are exciting games on show in the National Conference League and we are concentrating on two in particular from two different divisions.

Over at Lock Lane there is a heavyweight tie between Lock Lane and Hunslet Club Parkside as second and third placed teams go head to head. The task of beating the Hunslet club is one not lost on Lane Head Coach Paul Couch.

"It's massive, second v third with just points difference separating us really. Both teams have been going pretty well. I know Parkside have had two good results, hopefully we can turn them over this weekend. When you look at the top five or six, everyone is playing pretty well and there are some really good ties when you look through - Wath Brow and West Hull is another Grand Final-esque game this weekend."

He said: "We are miles off that time yet, though it is good to be in and around that play-off area. When we got back into the Premier Division, we did speak about stopping in there and the second year getting into the play-offs. We are actually in the second year proper after the covid break, our aim is to get into the play-offs this year. Hopefully, we can do that."

"Both my halfbacks have been going well this year and it's been a consistent having them play at six and seven, Chris Siddons continues to play well week in, week out, but I could name quite a few, they are all playing well together and enjoying their rugby."

When asked about where the dangers come from regarding Hunslet, Paul was quick to reply.

"Danny Rowse's kicking game, he's an ex Lock Laner, now whether he'll be fit to play I'm not too sure. Both McShanes are quality players, particularly Craig at fullback. He's really strong, really elusive and we've got to be wary of him, but they have quality players from one to seventeen. We've got to be wary of everybody."

"They are still pretty new to the NCL. They had that quality year where they went unbeaten. We weren't in the Premier Division then, we were in Division One, but we haven't actually beaten them in the NCL. We've pushed them close in the past but they are a quality outfit and we are going to have to be at our best on Saturday to beat them."

"We had ten players out last week when we went to Egremont and we threw some young kids in, and I've got to say, they stood up to it. We went six-nil down and when you've got quite a few personnel missing, you question whether you can come back but again going back to Chris Siddons, in that game Chris held us together. He keeps telling me he wants to be a coach and that was the perfect opportunity for him, those kids went up there, enjoyed their trip and enjoyed the trip home even better."

Wigan St Judes are also primed for top-of-the-table visitors as they host Crosfields in Division Two. Judes lost their first three games of the year but their form has picked up over recent weeks. They were unlucky to lose out at Barrow Island and not have more to show from their trip to Clock Face Miners. Back on home soil, versatile player Danny Cassidy reckons we may see the best from his side.

"We've been going very good at home. We are unbeaten, it's just the travelling away - we've not had a consistent seventeen. I don't think there's been one game where we've fielded the same team. Looking forward now, we've got most of our injuries back and we are hoping to build and kick on, starting on Saturday against Crosfields." 

With former professionals Shaun Ainscough and James Worthington back at their community club Danny pointed at their influence.

"Shaun's a massive boost for the club, he was around the pro game a lot and knows everything about rugby league, he could talk to you all day about it!"

"James is another good signing for us and there are also other lads there, lads who have been there a really long time who are really good players as well."

"It will be a tough game. Crosfields are flying high. They will be full of confidence and we are coming in on the back of a defeat."

"We were 12-0 down after seven minutes and it's no good for any side, that. I thought after that we grew into the game. We had our chances, we just couldn't convert them. Again we had different halfbacks and that is why our shape was off. Credit to the lads though, when you've been to work all day and some lads were up from five o'clock and going playing rugby at seven at night it's not ideal, but we got there, dug in, didn't get the result but on another day we'd have got it."

Other fixtures to look out for this week include Hull Dockers v Milford in Division One. A win for Dockers will keep them top of the league ahead of a snapping pack while in the same division Stanningley host Wigan St Pats. Division Two pits Hunslet Warriors against Dewsbury Celtic and Woolston Rovers head over to Heworth and in Division Three, Oldham St Annes host East Leeds and Seaton Rangers host Shaw Cross Sharks.

National Conference League Round Ten Fixtures:


  • Lock Lane v Hunslet Club Parkside
  • Leigh Miners Rangers v Thornhill Trojans
  • Pilkington Recs v York Acorn
  • Siddal v Egremont Rangers
  • Thatto Heath Crusaders v Rochdale Mayfield
  • West Hull v Wath Brow Hornets


  • Hull Dockers v Milford
  • Ince Rose Bridge v Featherstone Lions
  • Kells v Saddleworth Rangers
  • Oulton Raiders v Skirlaugh
  • Stanningley v Wigan St Pats
  • West Bowling v Myton Warriors


  • Barrow Island v Clock Face Miners
  • Beverley v Bradford Dudley Hill
  • Heworth v Woolston Rovers
  • Hunslet Warriors v Dewsbury Celtic
  • Normanton Knights v Dewsbury Moor Maroons
  • Wigan St Judes v Crosfields


  • Bentley v Millom
  • Drighlington v Hensingham
  • Eastmoor Dragons v Batley Boys
  • Leigh East v Waterhead Warriors
  • Oldham St Annes v East Leeds
  • Seaton Rangers v Shaw Cross Sharks