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No coasting for Ilkley as they take on unbeaten Seasiders
Ilkley are expecting their toughest game of the season so far when unbeaten Scarborough visit Stacks Field on Saturday.
The Seasiders have won all four of their Yorkshire Division One games and the scene is set for a rousing encounter.
Ilkley, with three wins to date, know this game will be a good indicator of how they are likely to fare this season.
Their head of rugby Rhys Morgan said: “Scarborough have been a highly-competitive side for the past few seasons and have strengthened again.
“Their early results indicate that they are likely to be strong contenders for promotion in what is possibly the toughest Yorkshire One for years.
“The standard is very good and I expect Saturday’s match to show us exactly how we are doing.”
Last Saturday’s 13-11 win at Heath was earned with a late try by winger Paul Petchey and many of this season’s games are proving to be close fought.
“One score can be crucial,” admitted Morgan. “It is also the case that mistakes are punished and we have to make sure that our game is up to the mark.
“We have to achieve consist- ency in our play as well as in our selection if we want to be successful.
“It certainly helps when you are not having to make wholesale changes. We made seven when we went to Wath and were hammered.”
Morgan is pleased that his squad numbers are improving with players returning from injury, holiday and cricketing commitments to swell the ranks.
“It is crucial to have depth in the squad and I feel we are getting that now,” he said.
“Ryan Cooper is back to put challenge for the scrum half position while centre Charlie Davy is training hard again and we have newcomer Josh Kimber, a utility back recommended to us by Mick Cachia, challenging too.
“Stand off Phil Howell and lock Pete Small are all playing again and we are starting to get good competition for places.
“It is important to have that and to have players who know the pattern of play and can step in to do a job,” added Morgan.
The Ilkley coach has been encouraged by his team’s early results. There had been concerns that September would be a tough month for the Dalesmen.
“When the fixtures came out I thought we would find it difficult as we had Doncaster Phoenix, Wath, Keighley and Heath to play, but we have come through that tricky period well.
“It is important now for us to try and kick on if we want to be a force in this division.
“I feel that we we are still coming to grips with some of the changes we have made to our game, but the signs are certainly there that we can improve.”
One change that Morgan has made to try and improve the potency of his side is at stand off.
Craig Barker is now wearing the number ten shirt with Alastair Monks switching to the centre role he has vacated.
“We have also made a few little changes to the way we play to help Craig dictate the play. I know Monko is a lot happier now he has reverted to his favoured position. said Morgan.”
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