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Ilkley coach says 'No more excuses'
Tactical errors and the infamous Old Brodleians slope did for Ilkley’s rugby players on Saturday as they drew 7-7 with the league strugglers, so says head coach Rhys Morgan.
And he has warned ahead of Saturday’s home game with Ponte- fract: “It’s no excuses time.
“Sometimes I’ve given the guys a bit of a cushion to fall on, but after last week we need a performance and a result on Saturday.
“I’ll be making that clear to them.”
Knock-ons and some poor kicking were the catalyst for a sloppy performance at Old Brods.
“I wasn’t best pleased to be honest,” said Morgan. “It wasn’t great. We squandered possession in the first half and made far too many unforced errors. I think five times in the first half we kicked the ball away from a good position.”
The slope, which runs sharply down the width of the pitch, proved to be too much of a temptation for Ilkley, and Brods took advantage.
“We got carried away with the slope. Sometimes we were making 40 or 50 yard shifts and just expecting Paul Petchey to work wonders.”
“Only being up by seven at half-time, we were always going to be up against it, and to be fair I think Brods probably played with more heart and desire. They wanted it more.”
The result pushes the Dalesmen back to ten points off promotion-placed Huddersfield with eight games to play, but Morgan still believes his men are in with a sniff of the top two.
“Huddersfield went to Brods and lost, so to come away with a couple of points keeps us in the chase.
“As I’ve said before, the teams above us have got to play each other, and we’ve got Huddersfield on the last day. By no means have we given up the chase, and we’ll prove that in our selection for Saturday.”
Next up are mid-table Pontefract, who edged past Ilkley 32-27 in October. Morgan singles out veteran former Barbarian Derek Eves as their biggest threat.
“Last time we seemed to play into him all game, and we have to look to play in other areas on Saturday.”
“At the moment, we’ve got one or two out. Ben Fear certainly is, who’s been doing a great job for us coming off the bench, but JH Johnson is back, which is great.”