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Grit and determination serve Otley well, says Tiffany
Otley’s director of rugby James Tiffany was pleased with their 27-24 victory at Harrogate last Saturday in SSE National League Two North - their second win in two games - but he admitted that his side had been forced to survive a stern test.
He said: “Wins build confidence but we know there are areas we have to improve on.
“Harrogate played some good rugby but I was pleased with our grit an determination.
“The players stood up to the test well and I was really pleased with out 19-year-old prop Will Rigg.”
Otley will hoping to extend their winning run when Dudley Kingwinsford visit Cross Green on Saturday for what should be another stern test.
Wharfedale’s new style of running rugby is winning some influential admirers.
Former England coach Brian Ashton was quick to praise the change of emphasis in the Greens’ play after seeing his club Fylde beat them 34-21 on Saturday.
Wharfedale’s head coach Jon Feeley said: “Brian told me it was the first time he had watched a Wharfedale side that played in front of its pack.
“He was delighted to see two sides trying to play running rugby at SSE National League One level because it is very rare.
“Fylde’s philosophy is similar to ours and I am pleased with the way our players have responded to the style I want them to play.
“If you are not paying your players, and we don’t, then your style of play is important in getting players to play for your club.”
“With younger players in the side I want us to play a quicker game and move the ball wide.
“I was particularly pleased that the players were prepared to do that on Saturday even after we conceded three early tries”.
Wharfedale, who were without the influential Rob Baldwin and injured prop Adam Hayward, suffered a further setback when they lost flanker Aaron Myers during the game.
“The team showed a lot of grit and character. Without Rob and then losing Aaron meant we were short of experience,” said Feeley.
“We had two teenagers and Nathan Myers, untried at this level in the back row, but they stood up to the test.
“I came away pleased with many aspects of our play.”
Wharfedale’s willingness to give their young players a chance is paying dividends.
Teenage winger Josh Prell made his senior debut on Saturday and marked it with a stunning try.
Feeley said: “He was up against one of the best wingers in the league, Oliie Brennan, and did a great job, “He beat Brennan and the full back and had just five metres of space to work in as he ran in his try.
“The finish was great and it capped a superb team move. It was a well-deserved score.”
Wharfedale look set for a tough test on Saturday when unbeaten Loughborough Students visit The Avenue.
They are expected to be physical and fast, but Feeley and his men are hoping to have a few surprises for the visitors.
“As an academy side with lots of resources available to them we know they will be fit and well drilled.
“It is up to us to disrupt their plans and show what we can do.
“I am sure our crowd will play their part too,” he said.
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