Rovers 8 West 19

By Dave Picken - December 27 2017
Rovers 8 West 19 A big holiday crowd witnessed one of the scrappiest Boxing Day games for some time but at least the scoreline stayed tight until the very end keeping both sets of partisan supporters out of the bar ..

We just about deserved our first away victory of the season - we now need some in the league. 

Wth Adam Brown (pictured) a surprise and useful inclusion at hooker, we set off in the right spirit forcing Rovers back into their 22 only for wild passes and poor handling to let us down - as it was to do all afternoon.

The sucker punch came when Rovers finally got into our half with more than ten minutes played. A simple bit of passing along the backs saw the lively Chris "Milky" Harrison go in at the Steetley corner against his old club.

Joe Rafferty was again an early injury victim with Zac Southern and Lee Maddison also soon off - John Bunter, Jay Corbett and Adam Peacock the first of nine replacements to wear the green, red and white.

The lads wearing the black, red and white were certainly up for this one and sharp tackling kept them in the game in a first half where we had the lion's share of the ball.

It took until the half hour mark for West pressure to produce a dividend.  Rovers were again forced back on their line where Will Hilditch continued his run of good form by sliding through a gap to touch down. This time it was Gav Painter's turn to hit the post.

The pressure continued with Gareth Foreman, reffing once again against two of his former clubs, losing pateince with Rovers second row Dylan Langley after a succession of penalties in the home 22.

With Langley off we had more success with our five metre scrums, and skipper Ryan Painter gratefully finished off the hard work of his pack to set up brother Gav with an easy conversion to give us a 12-5 lead at the break. 

Rovers reduced the arrears with a Fawcett penalty, and with only four points in it they stepped up their game in the second half -  certainly in terms of time spent in the West half.

Both sides were making frequent changes - everyone has to get a runout on Boxing Day - which didn't help the continuity, but it was good to see former skipper Dan Boatman in a West shirt for the second time this season.

It became a game where the next score would prove crucial. In truth, neither side looked like getting it thanks to over elaborate passes going to ground, or balls lost in contact plus frequent infringements at the breakdown.

Pack at Rovers

Once again it got too much for Gareth Foreman who singled out Langley for a second yellow at the breakdown as we built up phases in the home 22.

The pressure stayed on and some rare quick ball saw Hilditch, now at centre, timing his short run to perfection to take advantage of a snappy pass from Gavin Painter to  go in under the posts - Painter G. adding adding the final points of  a competitive, if not flowing, afternoon of rugby. 

The second XV's now take on each other this Saturday at Brinkburn in the Bill Bowden Memorial game with a 2.00 kick off.

Rovers: Harrison, S Railton, S Barnfield, Gunn, A Smith, Fawcett, Pelser, Pinchen, Maguire, Lloyd, Langley, Little, Dring, Church, Whitehead (c).

Reps used: S Smith, D Smith, Jeffery, Burnside, O’Callaghan, Cookland, Montgomery

Tries: Harrison.

Penalty: Fawcett.

Yellow: Langley (2)

West: Austwicke, Checksfield, Youll, G Painter, Hilditch, Southern, R Painter (c), Wood, Brown, Coates, Linighan, Rafferty, Butcher, Maddison, Turner.

Reps: Bunter, Corbett, Peacock, D Boatman, Hunter, Tyers, Mallinson, Quinn, Siddle

Tries:  Hilditch (2), R Painter.

Conversion: G Painter (2)

Referee: Gareth Foreman (Durham Society)






Rovers 8 West 19
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
27/12/2017 10:03
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