RHYS Morgan says he is looking forward to seeing his Ilkley squad recharge its batteries over the festive break.

Ilkley play their final North Premier game of 2018 on Saturday when they host seventh-placed Sandal at Stacks Field before they take a break from action until they travel to Kirkby Lonsdale on January 5.

Morgan's side slipped to 10th place in the table following their narrow 24-17 defeat at Harrogate last Saturday. Ilkley have now notched up 32 points this season, with six wins and seven defeats from their opening 13 games of the campaign.

But the head of rugby says he was encouraged his his side's display and disappointed they could not grab the victory.

He is looking forward to his weary squad to take a break from league action and recuperate from bumps and bruises, but they will still be expected to take part in a restricted programme of training sessions with Morgan and Jimmy Lowes over Christmas and New Year.

Morgan said: "It will good for us to recharge our batteries of everyone involved, including myself and get away from it for a bit. We all need to get a bit of a break. We have been ravaged by injuries.

"Everytime a player goes down in training, I seem to be spending time worrying if they will be OK.

"It has been about injury and player management for me at the moment because we have such a small squad. We are nearly there, one more game."

He added Saturday's defeat to Harrogate was a "confidence boaster" as they took fifth-placed Harrogate to the limit and says his side can take heart out of this loss.

Morgan said: "We pushed Harrogate to the wire, we should have won it. We had them on the ropes at some point.

"We offered more rugby than they did. We are disappointed to come out of the game with only a point and we were seven points of them. But that's rugby, we've just got to pick ourselves up.

"We have proved we can take on teams like Harrogate. It was a big confidence boost on Saturday. It's good that we can have a go at teams like Harrogate.

"We have not beaten Sandal for the last few years and lost twice to them last season.

"We are playing well at the moment, we have won three of our last six games.

"Hopefully we can get a result on Saturday. We have been there or thereabouts lately, we just need the rub of the green. We are looking forward to the game."