West 24 Pocklington 20

By El Pedro - September 14 2019
West 24 Pocklington 20 A superb fightback after conceding three early tries saw us earn a first win of the season against visiting Pocklington.

If our previous experiences in North One East tell us anything it’s that winning your home games is crucial and players and coaches alike will be breathing a sigh of relief that we battled back against Pocklington to record our first win of the campaign.

The visitors were a much bigger side than West and, playing with what advantage the blustery cross-field wind was providing, they got off to a flying start.

An early scrum penalty was kicked to the corner and despite failing to set up the rolling maul, one phase later prop Christopher Morton went over from close range.

Another scrum penalty resulted in a second opportunity in the same corner and this time the maul was ruthlessly effective, easing it’s way over the line for the second try and a 10-0 lead with only 8 minutes played.

We had made no impression at all with ball in hand and Pock had their third try after just 14 minutes when an overlap on the short-side just inside the West half was nicely exploited and led to a simple run-in for centre Jonty Peters. The straightforward conversion was skewed wide but it had been a brutal opening and already looked a long way back for the youthful West line-up.

Finally holding on to the ball for a few phases we slowly moved up-field, but were made to work hard to recycle possession after every tackle as Pock competed hard over the ball. One way to counter that was to keep the ball off the floor and we manufactured our best position of the match with a long rolling maul, driving play deep into the 22.

The hard work of the forwards was rewarded when Ryan Painter broke from the base, shrugged off a couple of tackles and then slipped the ball inside to Liam Bailey who finished off the try under the posts. The score visibly settled us down and we grew into the game, putting the opening 15 minutes behind us despite losing Adam Brown to a nasty looking injury.

Tennant high tackle

Attacking in the right corner we tried to use the width of the field to put Max Tennant in space on the left and as he tried to score in the corner he was tackled high and referee Patrick Wheeler had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try and yellow card. Now trailing by just a point the game had changed completely and our defence, as well as attack, had grown in intensity.

The visitors were also now under pressure at the scrum and it was from a scrum midway between half-way and the Pocklington 22 we took the lead when Bailey again popped up in space and showed his pace to run in, again under the posts and leave a simple conversion for Waites. We defended exceptionally well in the closing minutes of the first half, keeping our noses in-front to the clear surprise of the visitors who had led with such ease early in the game.

 The second half was a much tighter affair with Waites nudging us two scores ahead with a wind-assisted long range penalty just 3 minutes in. Pock always looked threatening but our defence held on until Adam Coates was sin-binned on 57 minutes and from the resulting penalty the familiar sight of a kick to the corner and rolling maul brought the visitors their bonus point try.

Another missed conversion kept the lead at 4 points but with 20 minutes still to play the game was there for either team to win. With Coates off the field, injuries meant the scrums were uncontested for the period of the sin-bin but our defence held on, even when a certain try looked on only for Ollie Connolly to produce a superb last-ditch tackle, followed up by a key turnover from Alex Barker to thwart the attack.

Pocklington kept plugging away and only a spirited chase and tackle from Waites kept them at bay as play entered the final few minutes. Referee Wheeler found 8 minutes of injury time but we played them tactically well, kicking down into the corner and even looking like getting a bonus point of our own when Lewis Scott showed his pace up the right wing only to be tackled into touch.

A fine win against a good team, hopefully the first of many in front of the home spectators this season.

West: Connolly, Tennant, Southern, Youll, Scott, Waites, Painter, Coates, Brown, Hogan, Bunter, Linighan, Barker, Bailey, Atkins. Reps: Cookland, Rollins, Hazell. Tries: Bailey 2, Penalty Cons: Waites 2 Pen: Waites YC: Coates

Pocklington: Pollock, Stephenson, Wagstaff, Peters, Pattison, Proctor, Rees, Morton, Thornton, Kelly, Fothergill, Papa, Davison, Smith, Sayer. Reps: Walker, Little, Elliot.

Referee: Patrick Wheeler [Yorkshire Society]

 
West 24 Pocklington 20
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
15/09/2019 08:17
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Re: West 24 Pocklington 20
16/09/2019 13:19
Excellent recovery and I'm sure we will learn the lesson of that bad start.
The win has catapulted me to the top of the Prediction League.

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