Sheffield Tigers head coach Dan Richmond insists his side will have no fear against big-hitting Macclesfield as they seek their first home win of the season.
Relegated from SSE National League One last year, Macclesfield confirmed early predictions for an immediate return with 30-19 defeat of Darlington Mowden Park.
Tigers meanwhile lost 16-3 to Preston Grasshoppers on the opening day.
Richmond was able to take heart from the effort put in by his players, particularly in the last 20 minutes, as they exerted considerable pressure on the Grasshoppers defence. And despite acknowledging Tigers face a challenge today, the former Northampton Saints hooker hopes to spring a surprise.
“Macclesfield will be promotion contenders” said Richmond. “It will be a great challenge for us as a team and get an understanding of where we are at in our development. We have nothing to fear though. If we can apply our game on the day, apply some pressure and hopefully we can ask some questions of them.”
Richmond said he could take positives out of the game with Preston.
“We were putting them under sustained pressure in the last 20 minutes and I think the boys really applied themselves well. It was a tight game and a lot closer than the score line reflects.
“It will be another large challenge against Macclesfield but I am very pleased with the way the boys have trained this week. They have shown the right attitude and the desire to want to improve.
“All in all the squad is fit and raring to go. The players in the squad are providing me with a bit of a selection headache but it’s a good one to have.”
Saturday will also provide Tigers with the first chance of the season to run out in front of the Dore Moor faithful.
And with the game also forming part of the Tigers Festival of Rugby and Beer, Richmond was aiming to give the home fans something to cheer.
“It’s is quite special playing at home, there’s always a certain level of pride when you are playing there. You want to produce a good performance for the crowd,” he added.
“It’s important to win your home games, with it being a 30 game season that can often make the difference to being a successful season although obviously the away games are equally important.
“With the beer festival at the club over the weekend our veterans will be supporting the team, it’s going to be a large crowd and a party atmosphere over the weekend. The boys are looking forward to it.”
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