RHYS Morgan is pleased his Ilkley side have combined free-flowing rugby with facing up to tough packs after they bounced back with a victory.

The Stacks Field side grabbed a 20-3 victory over Rossendale in the North Premier last weekend, which included a Struan Connor hat-trick, seven days after their fine run of form was ended by Vale of Lune.

This victory, their 10th from 18 games so far this season, puts Ilkley into seventh place on 51 points. But Morgan's men now have a blank weekend to recover ahead of their trip to Alnwick, who are sixth and have the same points tally as Ilkley, on Saturday, February 9.

Reflecting on his side's showing against Rossendale, Morgan was buoyed by his side not only playing attractive rugby, but also facing up to their opponent's commanding forwards.

Head of rugby Morgan said: "Ilkley are renowned for playing good quality rugby. But to square up to the Rossendale forward pack was a big step in the right direction.

"We were bullied up at Rossendale earlier in the season. But I just feel that was worthwhile.

"We did not just beat them by playing rugby, but by sticking up to their strengths with their forward runners. The Ilkley pack took control. That's a fantastic reflection of the journey our forwards have been on this year.

"Pat Power has been player-coach with the forwards this year, he needs to take a bow.

"We were solid in the scrum, we were good on the lineout. It was a really good performance against Rossendale.

"We had four really good opportunities to get another try, which I'm disappointed we didn't take. But I am just pleased to get the win.

"We've been looking at small wins this season. It's been a season of firsts. We had only beaten Rossendale once before as well. It was a good performance last weekend.

"It was good for us to bounce back from the disappointment of Vale of Lune the previous week."

Despite having a break from action this weekend, Morgan says his players' rest time won't last long as they prepare for a busy spell of league action.

Morgan, who will be watching Ilkley second-team's home clash with Driffield tomorrow, added: "We will be taking it steady this week.

"We've been doing gym sessions and getting the ball through the hands in training. But we will be hitting the ground running in training next Tuesday. We have not been slacking it off in training, Jimmy Lowes has still been banging the drum in the sessions.

"Strength and conditioning has come on this season."