Morley 29 West 10

By Dave Picken - September 8 2019
Morley 29 West 10 Our return to North One was always going to be tricky with a trip to Leeds to take on a Morley side which finished third in the table last season.

In the end we went down 29-10, but can take heart from the fact we were in the game for most of the 80 minutes. And the four 18 year-olds who made their league debuts can look back on the start of their careers with some satisfaction.

We were first on the scoresheet with a 30-metre penalty from player coach Stu Waites, but the lead didn't last long.

Experienced fly half Mark Chester was quickest to react when Ryan Painter was penalised for offside - his quick tap penalty from five metres saw him go over to set up an easy conversion for himself

The rest of the half was an arm wrestle, with West gaining a fair share of set piece possession only for smart defence from the home backs nullifying the threat

All too often we were forced to channel attacks through kicks, which almost unerringly seemed to find a willing Morley runner to return the ball with interest.

We did have the opportunity to go in at half time in the lead, but the pass to Alex Barker after Painter had taken a quick tap in front of the posts couldn’t be held.

With debut loosehead prop Liam Pennick particularly effective, our success in the set-piece gave hope we could capitalise on the second half – going in at 7-3 behind.

However, our hopes were given a major blow straight from the restart.

Stu Waites’ kick went narrowly into touch and, from the scrum back, home No. 9 Richard Knowles chipped through the middle.

Full back Ollie Connolly and Stu Waites combined to bring him down - only to see the ball bounce ever so kindly for Morley full back George Kelly to go over under the posts.

Our response was to force  our way into the home 22 and a big shove on the Morley scrum set up a penalty.

We opted for a scrum, but when the ball was fired right Peter Youll was unable to take it cleanly and the chance was lost.

The home side increased their lead with a penalty to put us two scores behind.

That lead was increased when a clearance kick from Connolly was taken by Morley No 8 Darrell Griffin. He made ground up the left before sending centre Harrison Bayliss clear of the wrongfooted West defence.

That was the cue for us to bring on all three replacements. The fresh legs helped force Morley back into defence with Chester receiving a yellow card for persistent infringement.

We made some decent inroads into the Morley defence with Painter sending Adam Brown on a strong run up the left. Unfortunately, Morley were able to clear as he was brought down.

Waites then timed a pass to perfection to send Chris Atkins striding up the same wing. This time the West support was there with Zac Southern taking the ball to go over from close range with Waites’ kick from out wide sailing between the posts.

One more converted score would have earned the visitors a deserved losing bonus point.

Instead, it was Morley who broke out to grab a bonus point for scoring their fourth try - second row Callum Rogers crashing over after another break from scrum half Richard Knowles.

A solid display in many respects, a very encouraging show from the debutants, and a bit of a lesson in how sides capitalise on mistakes as you move up a level.

Morley: George Kelly, Noah Hawkins, Harrison Bayliss, Andy Ellis (captain), Luke Baylis, Mark Chester, Richard Knowles, Billy White, Steve Graham, Greg Jones, Nick Green, Tom Richmond, Callum Rodgers, Bradley Freeman, Darrell Griffin.
Reps (all used): Sam Patterson, Alex Grace, Chris Norton
Tries: Chester, Kelly, Bayliss, Rogers,
Cons: Chester (3)
Pen. Chester.
Yellow: Chester

West: Ollie Connolly, Max Tennant, Zac Southern, Peter Youll, Lewis Scott, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter (captain), Adam Coates, Adam Brown, Liam Pennick, Jake Linighan, Michael Hogan, Alex Barker, Ethan Ledington, Chris Atkins.
Reps (all used): Luke Mallinson, Matthew Fleet, Aidan Jackson-Smith.
Tries: Southern.
Con: Waites
Pen. Waites
Referee: Andy Morton

Morley 29 West 10
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
08/09/2019 10:23
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Re: Morley 29 West 10
08/09/2019 15:42
Well done everyone, sounded much tighter than the scoreline suggests. Morley has always been a tough trip over the years.

Congrats to the four youngsters and we'll done too to everyone who took part in the Chariots of Fire Circuit back at Brinkburn. Zoopla have reported that house prices in Browning Avenue/Chaucer Avenue area have shot up 10% overnight !!

Stags had a good win v Horden-Peterlee too. The usual arm wrestle with a scratch side but all did well with the other cohort of Ex Academy lads also showing up well.

There was one particular phase of play that stood out for me with several huge tackles being put in by the youngsters on the bigger Horden forwards - great to see - well done to all.

Stags 39-Hording 17(I think)

No accident of course when you look at the number of Master Race involved in both squads at the moment incl a number that have been nutured through the Academy together with the Forwards Coach Master Race Lineage being maintained for a second season.

World domination is inevitable but let's start with Pocklington next week.

Well done this weekend to all players, coaches, physios and Gez who did all three at once yesterday.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 15:50 by

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
09/09/2019 12:06
Colts lost at Billingham 33-20. Decent game.

Not sure why we had to throw so many youngsters into the deep end at Morley ???? but well done to them.

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Stag88 (IP Logged)
09/09/2019 18:39
Isn’t that the point of the academy? Those who are old enough and good enough to filter in the senior sides?

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
09/09/2019 21:28
The academy exists to bring young players on, but surely once they become seniors, they aren’t ALL ready to play senior rugby in a difficult way game?
In some circumstances throwing inexperienced kids into senior games isn’t fair on them.

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Carlo03 (IP Logged)
09/09/2019 23:09
A few points are being missed in both Parental Unit and Rozzy1 comments..I can only assume they are not closely involved in the workings of selection, senior teams or otherwise or they have something else on their mind maybe. Morley away or Horden at home in a first game of senior rugby for a 17/18/19 year old West rugby player counts as being 'thrown in at the deep end'. If you had watched either game which I hope you did, you will of seen those young men not only playing but standing out in both games...a testament to not only the lads you refer to but their parents (that all watched and supported their sons and the teams, their coaches (also proud as punch seeing their years of hard work and dedication pay off)and the club as a whole. Nobody throws them in, every player chooses to turn up and play rugby for West Hartlepool or not, those young men you refer to are in our opinion as coaches amazing and will have learned more about rugby and theselves on Saturday than they have for a while. It's such a positive week for us and hartlepool rugby, it should be celebrated!! Any other questions or explanations feel free to ask me, sos,stu, gez, painter, Bailey at any point. Carlo

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Carlo03 (IP Logged)
09/09/2019 23:20
In addition, the average age of the first team was 22, for the first time for well over 30 years, every player (and coaches) were products of the West Junior's. For us they are two fantastic statistics.Thats not even mentioning the stags and what they achieved on Sat..If either of you have any ideas of how we can improve this scenario please, please get involved. Carlo

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
10/09/2019 08:50
I was really trying to find out why so many of the older players were not available for the first game of the season.
Sounds like they will have some competition for their places when they return.

Re: Morley 29 West 10
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
10/09/2019 09:20
Mentioned it in the preview - usual mix of injuries from a hard pre-season and work commitments.
Incidentally, both Jake Linighan and Ethan Ledington got to the game after finishing night shifts.

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