Last weekend a somewhat frustrated and disjointed Caldy secured an important 27-17 win over Hull at Paton Field to keep up their winning record in National 2 North, but it wasn’t a performance that Caldy Head Coach Matt Cairns was entirely happy with.

He said: “I suppose the sign of a good side is when they can find a way to win whilst not at their best and we certainly weren’t at our best last Saturday. Hull are a good side and they gave us our toughest examination so far at Paton Field.

“We were uncharacteristically hesitant in a number of areas of our game, particularly in the first half where our error count was probably the highest it has been all season. We tightened up our play in the second half, but we still conceded a late score.

“This has become an unwelcome habit this season. We have a hugely tough run of fixtures in February starting with this weekend’s visit to Otley. At the moment Otley are in a dog fight at the wrong end of the table and they will certainly give everything they have for the full 80 minutes. Make no mistake this is a very big game for both sides”

So far this season injury plagued Otley have been inconsistent, with a run of victories followed by a run of defeats punctuated by several draws. In December Otley and Preston battled for 80 minutes to record only the second 0-0 draw in the entire history of National League rugby, with the previous such scoreless match occurring way back in November 1990

Director of Rugby Gareth Davies echoed Cairns’ concerns about the danger Otley pose.

He said: “Otley have a tremendous rugby pedigree and they are very resilient and competitive. Back in the 2015/16 season, with only about five or six minutes to go we were three scores ahead at Cross Green and seemingly in total control.

“Otley didn’t see it that way. They stayed in the fight and scored two late tries and a penalty to send us home from Yorkshire with a one-point loss, 33-34. A fair number of the current Caldy squad were playing that day and they don’t need much reminding of just how difficult a challenge Otley pose at Cross Green”