RHYS Morgan has put up a strong case for his team’s defence after they opened the season with a 20-16 win over Kendal.

Many of Ilkley's followers were excited by the two early tries from Jack Maplesden and Joe Lowes, but the head of rugby was happier with their performance at the other end of the field.

“Kendal threw everything at us in the second half. Their big pack kept things tight and it took a huge effort to keep them out,” Morgan said. “The tackling was good and the work of the forwards was tremendous.

“We only lost one of our line-outs, we held our own in the scrum and really dug in.

“It was the quality of the defensive effort that ensured we got the win. Beating Kendal was a great effort.”

Two more of the club’s youngsters caught the eye during the game and are set to get another chance to impress in Saturday’s North Premier League derby at Morley.

Flanker Lowes – son of Yorkshire Carnegie coach James –repaid the selectors for their decision to give him a starting position.

“He is going to be a very good player and he took his chance on Saturday. He gave a good all-round performance.”

The second young player to make his mark was James Milner. He came off the replacements’ bench when Lewis Johnston was injured and had a solid game.

Morgan said: “I was pleased with him and he showed he is worth another go. He was nervous at first but settled in and made some big hits."