Ilkley’s players will be wary not to be complacent this weekend when they wel- come struggling Knottingley, says coach Rhys Morgan.
The Dalesman put recent inconsistencies behind them to defeat Pontefract on Satur- day, but Morgan is all too aware of the challenge of facing a side that has served as a bogey outfit for Ilkley.
He said: “We know Knottingley well. They’re a side we’ve slipped up against a couple of times in the past when we should have won comfortably.”
Knottingley are bottom of Yorkshire One, boasting the league’s worst defensive record by nearly 100 points, but they are on a run of three wins in a row, and have given themselves a chance of survival.
“We can’t go taking them lightly. I’ve been in those relegation scraps a couple of times and it really brings something out in you,” Morgan added.
“I have no doubt that they will be playing with that fighting desire and passion that you’d expect. It’s going to be a tough, tough game.”
Try-machine number eight Iain McKenzie completed yet another hat-trick last Satur- da.
McKenzie said: “We played good 15 man rugby, some- thing we’ve been aspiring to do for a while.
“That’s not come out overnight – we’ve tried to re-vamp things in order to get the back line interested again, and it worked.”
“I was pleased with the win. I hadn’t been happy with what happened at Brods and the numbers we’d had at training, and I certainly didn’t mince my words to the guys on Saturday. I think that came out in the players.”
Like on Saturday, the Ilkley back line will need to be in full throttle.
Morgan reckons that Knottingley’s strength is in their pack, particularly with number eight David Hopton.
“He’s a real handful, we’ll have to be wary of him and make sure we keep a close eye on him. That will be important,” said the coach.