KEIGHLEY RUFC head coach Dan McGee admits the next three games are likely to be huge for his side’s season.

The Utley outfit are sitting pretty at the top of Yorkshire Two, with 11 wins from 11, yet they still have just a six-point lead over Hullensians, and they are only eight ahead of third-placed Wetherby, with only the top two set to get promoted.

Keighley have a chance to make a real statement when they host Wetherby this Saturday, while the week after that they visit home specialists Leeds Corinthians.

Their final game before Christmas sees them face a tricky trip to face Hullensians, whose only defeat so far this season came at Keighley in September.

McGee said: “It stands us in good stead if we can beat Wetherby this weekend, but really we’ve talked about the next three games.

“If we can win all of those, against top opposition, we put ourselves in a really strong position going into 2022.

“If we lose those games, or certainly a couple of them, it’s going to make next year (the latter part of the season) a bit more interesting for the rest of the league.”

It will be interesting to see whether Saturday’s opponents Wetherby make any more costly slip-ups.

They have only lost twice all season, but one of those was a surprise defeat at Yarnbury three weeks ago, the team Keighley hammered 31-0 last Saturday at Utley after the game was switched there due to the opposition’s pitch near Leeds Bradford Airport being covered in snow.

McGee said: “We weren’t sure how Yorkshire Two would go, and how strong teams would be.

“We knew Hullensians would be a threat, as they’ve just come down with us from Yorkshire One, but we knew less about the other sides.

“Wheatley Hills and Northallerton both started really strongly too, but they’ve started to tail off, whereas Hullensians’ only dropped points were against us.

“Wetherby had only lost once going into November, but they lost to Yarnbury the other week, who we thrashed on Saturday.

“On that basis it would be easy to think it’ll be no bother for us to beat Wetherby this weekend, but we know it’s not as simple as that.

“They’ll be good competition.”

Wetherby won’t face much tougher competition than Keighley’s Sean Kelly, with the prolific centre scoring another fine try in the win over Yarnbury.

McGee said: “Sean’s really important to us.

“He’s played both codes, and he’s just someone who can make things happen, whether that be with a great tackle or a great run, and change the dynamic of a game.

“His try early in the second half on Saturday, when we were only 7-0 up at the time, was invaluable, and he just kept going and going on a long run down the right.

“I think a few of the lads were expecting an offload, but there wasn’t one forthcoming.”

Elsewhere this weekend in Yorkshire Two, Baildon are due to host Leeds Corinthians, while Old Grovians are at Wath Upon Dearne.

Up in North One East, Bradford & Bingley are at Heath, while Cleckheaton host Scarborough.

In Yorkshire One, Bradford Salem welcome Pontefract, while Wibsey entertain Halifax Vandals in Yorkshire Three.