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Otley are heading in the right direction - Tom Rock
Tom Rock is a happy man this week - and not just because he is in Ireland preparing to get married.
Otley’s director of rugby was chuffed at seeing his side demolish National League Three North Penrith 88-7 last Saturday.
“Of course, we will have sterner tests to come,” said Rock, looking ahead to their National League Two North campaign which starts at Midlanders Dudley Kingswinford on September 1, “but it means we have probably done the right things in pre-season.
“Like I said last week, we are a tight-knit group, and we are also fitter - much fitter - and we look like a team, and you could not say that about us in every game last season.”
Otley made their one-division advantage seem like a chasm, and Rock admitted: “We didn’t do a lot of defending but we did look good in attack.
“We still have a few players to come in but despite playing (back-rower) Toby Williams at prop for a couple of spells, we are still on the look-out for a prop.
“We could bring one in - that is not the problem - but we want him to be the right sort of person as well.
“The back row is looking strong and there is also competition at half-back. We know what Steve Depledge brings to us because he has played here before and has played at a higher level but it is good that Kirk Arundale has rejoined us from Ilkley.
“He played in the middle 30-minute period and will give Steve competition. Ben Cooper also looked good at fly half.”
With Rock getting married, the players have been given the weekend off, with no game being arranged either for Otley Saracens.
Rock explained: “We are in a 16-team league and it is an onerous schedule. We might not get another chance to have a weekend off for a long while.”