KEIGHLEY RUFC suffered their first loss of the Yorkshire Two season last Saturday, but head coach Dan McGee insists there could be an upside to the defeat.

The league leaders went down 10-6 to Wath Upon Dearne in an attritional encounter, posting just two Alex Brown penalties on the scoreboard.

They have a chance to put things right this Saturday when they host 11th-placed Ripon.

Asked if the defeat to Wath could be passed off as a blip, McGee mused: "Time will tell.

"If I'm speaking to you in four weeks, and we've lost a couple more times, then we'll know it was more than that.

"But we're not panicking, or changing how we play, after this defeat.

"We'll adapt some parts of our game, but we had a good debrief after the match, and losing that 100 per cent record could be a monkey off our backs.

"We always knew we could lose games in this division, but now we've lost the pressure of trying to stay unbeaten all season.

"We have to make sure we still keep performing though, so I suppose it's a different sort of pressure now."

On paper, Keighley could not have asked for a better way to get back on track, with this Saturday's opponents Ripon having not won away from home all season.

McGee said: "Ripon is a good opportunity to get a win, but we know how tough they can be.

"We found it hard when we played them up at their place (Keighley ground out a 13-0 win) because the energy and desire they show is fantastic.

"But this is a chance for my players to step up after the Wath defeat, work hard, and it would be good to get a win."

Asked why his side were unable to beat Wath, McGee said: "They ground us down.

"They do well with their tactics on their small pitch. Our game is all about pace around the edges, but they made it difficult for us.

"The wingers did get a bit of ball, but they'd run out of space, as Wath just swamped us in the tackle.

"We put pressure on, but it was hard to get momentum and phases going in what was a stop-start game."

On what Keighley can learn from the defeat, McGee said: "We tackled and tackled, but we need to work on our technique on bringing down the bigger guys.

"There was plenty of heart and commitment from the players, but technically we'll need to work on playing against bigger sides, especially at this time of the year on muddy, heavy pitches."

Despite the defeat to Wath, Keighley still lead the way at the summit by seven points, after second-placed Wetherby's game at Wheatley Hills was postponed and third-placed Hullensians lost 19-12 at Wensleydale.