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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Haven plot their derby revenge

NEW recruit Jessie Joe Parker will have two days to shake off any jet lag before debuting for Whitehaven in the Good Friday derby at the Recre (3pm).

The Papua New Guinea international centre was due to touch down at Newcastle at lunchtime on Wednesday, after a long flight from Down Under, little over 48 hours before the clash with Workington Town.

And while coach Don Gailer will not risk him if not ready, he expects to name Parker in the 17 to face Town.

“With stopovers it’s about a 28-hour flight, so it’s a fair distance,” Gailer said. “But he’s been around and I’m hoping he doesn’t have any jet lag.

“He’ll have a hit-out on the training paddock on Wednesday night and that should liven him up. He can have a good sleep on Thursday and recover in time to play.

“We’ve been communicating so I know what he’s been doing over there – running, training, weights – and I expect him to be fit and ready to go.”

Haven’s 44-16 Northern Rail Cup defeat at Derwent Park in February was a highly-physical clash, and while Gailer expect’s Friday’s meeting to be similar, he believes Town have been underestimated in some quarters.

“They have a better side than people are giving them credit for,” he added. “It’s a big, strong, aggressive pack, with a fair bit of skill from the likes of Thackray, Phillips and Mattinson.

“They will jump on you every time you go to sleep. Their halves are also playing some good rugby, with Forber in particular developing some good combinations with Shackley. They have strike players all over the field.

“I watched their game against Batley and they were right in it. We’ll have to be on top of our game.

“Anyone who takes them lightly will get hurt. We’ll give them all the respect they deserve – then get stuck in to them.”

After three successive wins, Gailer is not planning too many changes to his strategy against Town.

He said: “We’ll probably stick with what’s working for us. It’s just about fine-tuning and not making the mistakes we’ve been making.

“It’s about completing sets and making sure we defend strongly. Our attitude has to be based around getting in the competition, in the battle. Our forwards need to be ready for the confrontation.”

It’s hoped Parker’s PNG team-mate Glen Nami will arrive in time for next week’s Carnegie Challenge Cup clash with Salford.

In-form full-back Andreas Bauer is set to miss Friday’s game with a hamstring injury.

The Kiwi, who has touched down in six of Haven’s eight games this term, suffered the knock when barging over in heavy traffic to score in Sunday’s win at Gateshead.

Gailer said: “I think he knows he’s a million to one, and that’s it’s more than likely he won’t figure.”

Jonny Youds, who played the opening three games at full-back, is favourite to step up.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: Heidi Seeds, Highlands Drive, Hillcrest, with ticket number 3,788; A Flynn, Chappel Street, Bigrigg, 126; D Butterworth, Brisco Road, Egremont, 2,720; Karl Vaughan, Oddfellows Terrace, Egremont, 612. Leeds Line : B4570 - R Simpson; F4070 - B Whitelow; N5288 - D Lamb; L5609 - S Barrit; P5468 - J Devany.

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