Rugby Union: Consistency key to Otley’s campaign warns Clegg

Otley coach Peter Clegg.
Otley coach Peter Clegg.
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Consistency will be the watchword for Otley in National 2 North as they get their campaign underway at Sale.

Peter Clegg’s side had to settle for a mid-table finish last season after falling away badly, losing their final six games.

Starting on Saturday, Clegg is targeting an improvement on their eighth-place finish.

“Our target is simply to be better than last season as a group,” he commented.

“We fell off badly when we thought promotion was in the bag.

“We’ve gained a few and lost a few this summer, but the lads have all trained hard and are ready for a competitive game.”

Off-season additions at Cross Green include Tom Hodgson from Huddersfield, Paul Petchey from Ilkley and Simon Willett from Wharfedale.

Clegg, whose 30-year association with the club continues, retains his enthusiasm for coaching.

“I’ve just got back into it as a coach and am getting to know the lads as they get to know me,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to it, I wouldn’t be doing the job if I didn’t.”

Morley begin life in National 3 North at home to Stockport at Scatcherd Lane.

The Maroons gained promotion in dramatic fashion last season through the play-offs, beating Kirkby Lonsdale 38-33 in extra time.

Dave Murray’s side dropped out of the fifth tier in 2012 and will be confident of getting off to a winning start against Stockport, who narrowly avoided relegation last term, on their return. They tuned up for the season with a day of pre-season rugby featuring games against Moortown and Leeds Beckett University.

A new era begins at Rudding Lane as Harrogate host newly-promoted Leicestershire outfit Hinckley in National 2 North.

The departures of coach Mike Aspinall and star players Callum Irvine and Lewis Minikin herald a fresh start under new man Dave Doherty.

Wharfedale are another side with a fresh look after suffering their first relegation in 20 years into National League 2 North.

Preston Grasshoppers, who came ninth last season, form James Doherty’s first opponents as head coach.

Elsewhere, Sandal host Huddersfield in National 3 North.

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