West 17 Morley 8

By El Pedro - January 24 2016
West 17 Morley 8 A gutsy performance earned us the four points and inflicted only the second defeat of the season on a Morley side who sit second in the table.

First half injuries to playmaker Gav Painter and Liam Bailey forced both to watch from the side-lines and whilst we had a ready-made replacement for Gav with Stu Waites stepping up from full-back, he too suffered a serious shoulder injury in the second half. We were left to play the final quarter with Aaron Myers at inside centre and Peter Youll in the 10 shirt.

Despite the reshuffle it was a heroic defensive effort in the closing stages as Morley mounted a series of attacks looking to overturn a 17-3 second-half deficit. When we lost Aaron Myers to the sin-bin with 20 minutes to play Morley did score through elusive full-back Dante van der Merwe but a missed conversion kept the lead at more than a single score. With plenty of time left and our makeshift line-up beginning to fatigue Morley caught a glimpse of a comeback but we weren’t about let that happen.

We had suffered in the scrum during the first half but somehow pushed Morley off two scrums deep in our 22 at crucial moments and pressured the visiting lineout into mistakes. Stand-out defensive work from Anth Carr, diving in to force a knock-on when a try looked certain, and Ryan Painter, with a double tackle in the right corner, were key moments in an all-round team effort.

In the first half we had also absorbed pressure but proved clinical in attack. Morley had the better of the early exchanges and missed an early penalty after a late tackle by Dan Boatman. Against the run of play we got the first score on 23 minutes. A maul on half-way advanced well into the Morley half and sucked in defenders. Owen Bennett spotted a gap and peeled off on the blind side, drawing the last defender before passing to Ryan Painter who raced up the touchline to dive in at the right corner.

More maul success brought our second score on the half hour, this time rolling away from an initial defensive surge by the visitors for Dan Boatman to emerge from the pile of bodies in the opposite corner as the try scorer. Mark Chester pulled 3 points back for Morley in the closing stages of the half but we went into half time happy with a 10-3 lead.

The crucial try came just 4 minutes into the second period with an offload from Eldon Myers setting up an attack in the left corner. We kept the ball alive well and eventually moved it back to the right where Joe Willis went over untouched by the corner flag. Stu Waites found his range with a great touchline conversion for a 17-3 lead.

Chester had the opportunity to close the gap with another penalty almost straight from the restart but skewed a relatively straight-forward kick wide. It signalled the start of the visitor’s resurgence and as our penalty count grew the inevitable yellow-card came for Myers as he dove in and tackled the scrum-half at a ruck on the goal-line. That led to the van der Merwe try and ultimately the defensive effort that secured the victory.

Whilst the win closes the gap between us and our visitors to just 3 points they do have the luxury of two games in hand so it would take a remarkable turnaround for them to drop out of the play-off place. With injuries to our two fly-halves there will be some concern going into the visit to Driffield next week with a welcome week off following that before fourth-placed Alnwick come to Brinkburn for another crucial game.  


West: Waites, Butcher, E Myers, Youll, G Painter, R Painter, Coates, Rollins, Angus, Boatman, Bennett, Bailey, Myers, Miller.
Reps: Rafferty, Carr, Edwards

Tries: R Painter, Boatman, Willis
Con: Waites
YC: Myers, Boatman

Morley: van der Merwe, Sim, Knowles, Frantzis, Bradshaw, Chester, Sewell, Benn, Ashford, Bell, Head, Brown, Watts, Flegg, Smyth.
Reps: Dinsdale, Richmond, Glynn

Try: van der Merwe
Pen: Chester

Referee: Ryan Oliver [Warwickshire]

West 17 Morley 8
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
24/01/2016 10:38
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Re: West 17 Morley 8
Hardwick Man (IP Logged)
24/01/2016 11:03
what a terrific write up ... positively thrill packed game no doubt

Re: West 17 Morley 8
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
24/01/2016 14:21
That was a good win, and the excellent performance appeared to take Morley by surprise.
The pack excelled all day and the backs coped well with some good Morley runners when they had the ball.
What a pity that the day should be marred by those injuries ... let's hope Gavin P and Stu W recover fully and quickly from what appeared on the day to be serious injuries.

Re: West 17 Morley 8
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
24/01/2016 15:26
Obviously a tremendous heroic display by the full team and all are to be congratulated. Let's hope recovery is speedy for all the 3 guys involved. Driffield away will be a real test of character but we have shown what can be achieved with grit and determination and I am sure replacements will join in with such displays. The week off will be a help and hopefully we can keep the home record going with a vital game against Alnwick in 3 weeks.

Re: West 17 Morley 8
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
25/01/2016 10:16
Tremendous effort from all 18 lads who were not going to to take a step backwards no matter what was thrown at them.
Hope the injured lads recover quickly.

And what a tremendous atmosphere in the club afterwards with so many players and spectators there.

Re: West 17 Morley 8
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
25/01/2016 13:53
Update on the injured lads. Stu is seeing a specialist this week but is unlikely to feature for some time.
There's better news on Gav who has had a brace fitted while his displaced teeth settle down. No news on when he will be back though.
Incidentally as soon as Stu went down the coaches pulled both Zac Southern and Luke Mallinson off the Stags game to avoid any chance of them joining the injured list.

Re: West 17 Morley 8
25/01/2016 14:12
Take it Liam Bailey just has a knock?
We'll miss these two as they are quality rugby players but I'm sure other lads will step up the mark.
Want to add my congratulations to all of the lads who played last Saturday. Really good competitive game of rugby played in the right spirit. We defended really well when we had to and took our tries very well.

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