West 3 Northern 9

By Dave Picken - February 1 2015
West 3 Northern 9 Quite how a dominant West pack failed to engineer a score in a second half - when  we had the strong wind at our backs - is a mystery to all who witnessed it.

Credit must go to Northern, who set up a fortress on their own line as they defended a 9-3 half time lead, although  some referees would have lost patience with a mounting penalty count as we camped on their line and awarded a penalty try.

But it wasn't to be - despite dominance in the scrums and a much improved line-out.

The fact is we haven't scored a try in the last 160 minutes of rugby. As a result  next week’s derby against an improving Horden has  become much more important as we are now only three points above a relegation place.

On a muddy pitch it wasn’t a game for the purists as all the scores came from penalties in the first half.

Northern played a simple game of kicking for territory, and fly half Donal Collins took three of his opportunities as we were penalised no less than 12 times in the first half.

The visitors had gone into a 6-0 lead before we forced ourr way into the home 22 with Peter Youll making a tremendous break through the centre.

The pressure lead to Scott Butcher making a strong surge for the line from ten metres with referee Dave Bundy ruling that he had been just short as he reached for the line.

Northern had rarely threatened the West line when they had the wind relying on the excellent kicking of Collins to rack up their points.

Zac Southern got one back right on the half time whistle, and with the West pack dominant we were fancied to steamroll our way to victory with the gale at their backs.

We did camp on the Northern line for a full ten minutes - spurning several opportunities for a kick at goal from 15 metres out to go for pushover tries.

But a combination of fierce tackling and wrong decisions finally allowed the Newcastle side to clear the danger.

As the pitch increasingly cut up it became a war of attrition with Sam Miller, Owen Bennett and Andrew Rollins all repeatedly battering the Northern line only to be thwarted on every occasion.

West: Stu Waites, Luke Mallinson,  Scott Butcher, Peter Youll, Kyle Jamieson, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter, Ross Wood, Adam Rollins, Adam Coates, Joe Rafferty, Owen Bennett, Chris Atkins, Dan Boatman (c), Sam Miller.

Reps(all used) :Michael Hogan, Callum Johnston, Liam Bailey.

Pen: Zac Southern

Northern: Doug Patterson, Dom Fawcett, Jamie Crowther, Paddy Harper, James Pattison, Donal Collins, Owen Clemmet, Sam Wilson, Ryan Moore, Damien Martinez,   Phil Ludford (c),Alan Douglas, Pat Fisher-Naylor, Tom McCullough, Ed Cawthorne

Reps (all used): Pat Douglas, Tom Smallwood, Joss Pinsent.

Pens: Donal Collins (3)

Referee: Dave Bundy (Liverpool)

West 3 Northern 9
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
01/02/2015 11:31
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Re: West 3 Northern 9
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
01/02/2015 12:21
Sounds as if we threw 3 points away and as if we lack concentration at critical times. We should be able to work that out for the rest of the season.

Re: West 3 Northern 9
oseander (IP Logged)
01/02/2015 18:31
yeah yeah - but the rest of the season is getting shorter, and if teams like Northern can't be beaten at home, there's a problem

Re: West 3 Northern 9
02/02/2015 14:04
We played into Northern's hands by being too static and naive when we were on their line.
If someone picks and goes he should have teammates on his shoulder. If a big lad (like Hogan) is hanging off waiting to receive the ball there should be communication so he receives the ball at speed to give him a chance of getting through the defence.
Just plodding on expecting something to happen doesn't work.
Altogether too slow in thought and deed although we did look more lively when Waites went to outside half.
This is not a rant. I am trying to be helpful.

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