Despite two defeats to kick off their season coach Gary Moorby is happy with the progress his side has made thus far.

Things seem to be going to plan and Moorby definitely feels that his side are where he expected them to be in developmental terms, at this point in the season.

Moorby says: "We had a couple of tough games against Hull KR which helped us get the boys ready and definitely helped our intensity and physical performance.

"Although the scoreline was disappointing last week, I've looked again at the video and I am generally pleased.

"Our completion rate was around 40 per cent - and that's just not good enough and there's plenty for us to work on there. But the guys themselves played in both games and can see the contrast in performance and just how that affects the results.

"We are beginning to get real competition for places now, and that's got to be good for the club, and was missing desperately last season.

"I still don't know our strongest team and players like Andrew Jackson, Lewis Taylor and Danny Ekis are playing well in the under-21s and are pushing for a first-team shirt."

However, 21-year-old Ben Archibald, on trial from Featherstone, may have to wait a little longer before he is in the frame.

Moorby also seized the opportunity for progress off the field.

He sees the forthcoming cup tie against Strela Kazan as being a launch-pad for the club's season, saying: "The club needs to sell the cup game to rekindle interest in the town.

"We've got a fantastic hardcore fan-base of around 1,000 supporters and a lot of other people in the town have been interested in the past and it's up to us to rekindle that enthusiasm.

"We could do things like give free passes to local schoolchildren, we've done that in the past and it has been successful. But generally we need to use this game to raise the profile of the club in the town again."

The Skolars have Rubert Jonker, Austen Aggrey, Nathan Gee and Dean Callass all vying for a place in the squad.

Winger Aggrey had a knee problem, but has recovered from that, while Callass (hamstring) and Gee (head) have both been passed fit. Alan Baker and winger Joe Price could also retain their place in the squad after impressive first games.

l Officials at Keighley are confident tomorrow's game will go ahead after a preliminary inspection yesterday deemed the pitch playable.