RHYS Morgan has laid into the anonymous keyboard warriors who have criticised Ilkley's decision not to travel to Preston Grasshoppers last Saturday.

The North Premier match was called off by the visitors rather than by Hoppers, and Hopping Mad, one of their detractors, wrote on the North Premier forum on rolling-maul.com: "The Ilkley vs Hoppers game was called off too early in my opinion.

"The weather situation changed markedly between Friday lunchtime and Saturday morning.

"If bus company wasn’t guaranteeing any return on Thursday/Friday then I’m sure there were others that would have based on Saturdays weather."

He added on Sunday evening: "Drove along A59 to West Yorkshire and back yesterday and was no issues at all."

Morgan said: "It is easy for the keyboard warriors to write stuff and be anonymous, but they should be brave enough to stand up and be named.

"The first problem that we had was that lads were coming to Ilkley from Skipton, Leeds and other parts of North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, and our bus company said that they were not happy taking us over the Pennines.

"We are not talking about a match where thousands and thousands of pounds was at stake, and the advice from everywhere was don't travel unless it was absolutely necessary.

"We were not prepared to put our lads' lives at risk and so made the practical decision not to travel.

"Preston were fantastic about that and we also made sure that we were not breaking any rules or regulations in a rugby sense either."

With many of his players involved in sevens rugby from May onwards, Morgan reckons that Ilkley's season will now stretch into an eighth month.

He said: "We have no game on March 17, but the Rossendale game has been re-arranged for March 31 (Easter Saturday) and the Wirral fixture for April 28, and the Preston Grasshoppers game is now likely to be May 5.

"Ideally I would have liked to have finished the league programme by mid-April and given the lads a couple of weeks off."

Ilkley, who are ninth, are at home to third-placed Hull on Saturday and could welcome back centre and captain Elliot Morgan, after concussion, lock Pete Erskine and scrum half Jack Maplesden, injury and illness.

Morgan Ilkley lost 31-25 at Hull in the Autumn and Morgan added: "We have a good record against Hull and could have beaten them away earlier in the season."