PETER Clegg is canny enough to ignore the league table when it comes to playing against Wharfedale.

Otley may have won the reverse encounter 17-14 at The Avenue in September and be four places and nine points higher than the bottom-of-the-table National League Two North club before their derby clash at Cross Green tomorrow (2pm).

But the director of rugby warned: "We are expecting a full-on frontal assault from Wharfedale, no quarter asked, no quarter given, from the start right to the end.

"They performed excellently at Hinckley two weekends ago, and players such as Adam Howard have made a difference, but we are expecting to have Paul Petchey, Alexander Beaumont, Jack Mackie and Mike Coady available in the backs.

"We just hope that we can do enough to get the points, but it is going to be tight at the bottom of the table right until the end of the season."

Meanwhile, Wharfedale's head coach James Doherty reckons that the derby could well be close.

"It will be decided by fine margins, such as who handles the referee better," said the former Cross Green backs coach.

"There could even be households where someone supports the black and whites and someone supports the greens."

Despite the National League Two North table, where Wharfedale are 16th and Otley 12th, both teams are going into the contest surprisingly buoyant.

The Greens beat South Leicester 28-25 in their last game at The Avenue, and then ran leaders Hinckley close away from home, gaining a losing bonus point when most people expected them to come away with nothing.

Otley have won two of their last three matches, defeating Macclesfield at Cross Green and winning last weekend 23-18 at Luctonians, a victory which took them out of the relegation places.

Mind you, a 20-5 home loss to second-from-bottom Sheffield was sandwiched between those victories, and Luctonians haven't won at home since the end of September – a run of five straight defeats, although they beat both Blaydon and Wharfedale in that first month at Mortimer Park.

While Otley were triumphing in Herefordshire, however, the Green Machine, who are unchanged tomorrow, had their home match against Tynedale frozen off.

Doherty said: "The intriguing thing is whether it is better to have a week off or whether it is better to have played last weekend.

"I suppose we will only know about 3.30pm tomorrow, but we feel that we can take confidence from our performances against South Leicester and Hinckley.

"One thing is for certain – we won't need any firing up to face Otley in a Christmas derby, and I am sure that Cleggy will have Otley fired up.

"I notice that Kyle Dench is playing again for them. He is a good lad, I know him from his days at Otley and Harrogate, and he is still a quality player."

Clegg said of the win against Luctonians: "We deserved it, but didn't get the rub of the green in the last 20 minutes, which made it closer."

Wharfedale (at Otley): T Davidson, R Davidson, C Graham, J Gill, O Cicognini; T Barrett, P Woodhead); T Asejevs, D Stockdale, R Ward, A Howard, R Rhodes, K Frost, J Tyson, G Hedgley. Replacements: I Larkin, J Altham, R Baldwin, J Mason, T Mann.