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Break a winner for Ilkley
The winter break couldn’t have come at a better time for Ilkley’s rugby players, according to head coach Rhys Morgan.
Poor weather meant that his team hadn’t played in three weeks before their rampant 32-14 win over Scarborough on Saturday.
“I wasn’t too worried about the run we were on,” said Morgan, who had been carrying a record of one win in six games before the weekend.
“It was very important we took advantage of the break, re-grouped and freshened things up a bit in order to get going again.
“We’ve done a lot of work in the gym, and with help from Ollie Renton, have managed to get things freshened up in terms of routine and the faces we’ve got involved.”
Two tries from Paul Petchey, and star turns from stand-in stand-off Alastair Monks and newcomers Tom Baxter and Charlie Davy were the catalyst for the win, which re-aligns Ilkley with the Yorkshire One promotion chasers.
“I’ve always maintained that we have to keep pushing for promotion,” added Morgan.
“We are seven points adrift of Huddersfield, but we’ll take one game at a time. The teams above us still have fixtures to play amongst themselves – it might well go right down to the wire on the last game of the season!”
This week, fly-half Mike Cachia returns for Ilkley after a week off, where he might find competition in the form of Monks, said Morgan.
“There’s a decision to be made there. Monko came in and did a great job.
“He’s a class player and is good to have around the dressing room. He raises the standards of the lads around him.”
Ilkley travel to strugglers Old Brodleians on Saturday, who lost 36-29 to promotion favourites Driffield last week.
The Halifax side sit just above the relegation spots but Morgan refuses to take anything for granted going into the game.
He said: “When we played against them earlier in the season they were very organised and their coaches had some very good ideas.
“They’re a young side, and with a couple of older heads back they’ve managed to steer themselves well out of trouble.
“It’s a tough fixture – their ground is notorious for its slope right across the pitch and it can be a nightmare to play on.”