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Compelling case for the defence at Stacks Field
Ilkley won ten of their 13 home matches last season in SSE Yorkshire Division One, and they have already made it two from two this season.
Their latest victory at Stacks Field was a relatively straight-forward 27-6 derby triumph over struggling Keighley last Saturday.
But in trying to explain the difference in personnel between the Keighley victory and the 45-6 thumping at Wath the previous week, Ilkley’s coach Rhys Morgan said: “Consistency of performance comes with consistency of selection, and in the Wath game we only had one forward – Steve Burns – starting in the same position.”
The derby was in the balance when Alex Brown kicked his second penalty of the game to make it 15-6 in first-half stoppage time.
But Ilkley getting the first points of the second half and surviviving the sin-binning of second-power Steve Burns without conceding any points were both crucial.
The Dalesmen have also gone two home matches without allowing the opposition any tries, and that has also pleased coach Morgan.
The killer blow for the visitors came when centre Marco Ferrazzano lost the ball during the impact of a tackle in the 61st minute, Ilkley centre Steve Nolson being able to pick it up and run in a long-distance try.
Keighley had their moments in the home 22 but lacked creativity against a rock-solid rearguard.
“Our defence was superb,” said Morgan, whose team are now sixth and in the top half of the table.
On Saturday, the Dalesmen have another derby, this time at Heath, who are eighth.
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