Entertaining web report from West Leeds web site is printed below.
Greg will be delighted that his pace has gained him recognition as a centre in scoring the second Morley try.
Steve Graham's foot injury will keep him out for at least a couple of weeks.
West Leeds visit Morley in the return fixture on December 19th.
Wests defeated in the wet
West Leeds entertained Morley for the first game of the home season. Realising this was going to be a fiery affair club captain Sam Neave hastily booked a weekend break to Prague, causing a bit of a reshuffle in the back line.
With summer officially over rain was finally blessed the Blue Hill Lane arena’s concrete pitch, and fans were happy to see Luke Waite on the sideline prior to his reconstructive surgery on his shoulder and hairline.
Wests got underway attacking the John Shed end, an early infringement gave Morley an opportunity at the lineout, but captain for the day Dec Penny read it well and stole the ball. From the exit scrum half Tom Breakwell was charged down, again, although WL recovered better than last week and eventually cleared successfully.
George Carpenter, who is a forward, decided he could kick the ball and put in a chip over the top (crated) which was quickly snaffled up by the Morley defence. However, it wasn’t as terrible as it sounds as, having chased up his kick, WL were awarded a penalty on 19 minutes. George wasn't mobile enough to roll away unassisted and took a bit of a clattering (rumours are that a couple of WL boots got him for good measure). George took his shoeing manfully and after a magic sponge was fit to continue. WL opted for posts but Dale Breakwell missed for some reason.
West Leeds continued to disrupt the Morley lineout very well, although the away side did get on top at scrum time and it was unfortunate for them that their hooker had to go off with what looked like a fairly serious injury – we wish him a speedy recovery.
There had been few clear opportunities for either side, but with the Morley prop sent to the bin for cheating, WL now had a man advantage. The loss of the prop meant uncontested scrums and there was some deliberation as to whether another man needed to be removed from the Morley team due to the ‘Man Off’ law, eventually the ref decided against it and we continued 15 against 14.
The pressure of being a man down was starting to tell and Morley were committing more infringements, WL kicked to the corner and secured the ball. Again Morley decided not to compete so Dec set off with the ball, using all of his mobility to keep up with play, fan favourite Dan Baxter secured the ball and touched down in the shed corner to give WL the lead. Dale Breakwell decided to kick this one over and we were 7-0 ahead.
Half Time – West Leeds 7 – 0 Morley
From kick off an almost farcical turn of events put WL under pressure unnecessarily, Jamie Cockin collected the kick off, passed the ball on to Dale Breakwell who dropped the ball backwards. The ball was tidied up and space identified out to the right. The ball was spun right, dropped again and then with the ball loose on the ground, kicked from our own 22 back towards the goal line by special agent Tim Pickersgill. Fortunately Morley knocked on when trying to collect the ball and we were able to clear our lines.
The next moment of note was a kick over the top by Dale Breakwell, expertly caught by the returning Jack Marshall, offloaded to Danny Booth who raced away from the halfway line. He was caught at the Morley try line and the referee ruled no try. Wests were keen to keep the pressure on though and kept the ball moving side to side in the Morley 22.
Unfortunately the away sides defence was equal to our efforts and the ball was turned over only meters short. The Morley 9 did a box kick that wasn’t charged down (how do they do that…) and the pressure had gone. In fact it was now WL turn to defend and a great break down the right was only stopped by a fantastic cover tackle from Tom Jackson.
WL had a throw on there own 5m line, and having been fairly comfortable with the lineout all day, decided to mix things up. Obviously this didn’t go to plan and Morley secured the ball. Several attacks were repelled around the fringe of the rucks but eventually the Morley centre crashed over next to the posts – 7-7.
A great chase from the ever enthusiastic Lewis Bromley put Morley under pressure and a turnover was secured at the breakdown by Dan Baxter, giving WL a chance to regain the lead. Dale decided to miss this one as well however and it hit the right hand upright and another chance had gone begging.
Wests were next to concede when Morley took a scrum against the head and worked the ball wide for a try in the corner, although the conversion was missed. Unfortunately further points were to follow when an infringement at the breakdown gave Morley an easy three points, and they went further ahead with a drop goal three minutes later. 7-18.
More misfortune was to follow for Wests when Danny Booth came off with a reoccurrence of his collarbone injury and scrum half Tom Breakwell suffer with what is suspected to be a fractured ankle. A reshuffle saw Jamie Cockin moved to scrum half, Luke Mallinson onto the wing and Mark Calderwood into the centres. Time was now ticking down and Wests were chasing a score to secure a losing bonus point.
Duane Smith went close with a couple of his trademark disco spins, before Morley were again penalised at the breakdown for not rolling away, with the yellow card shown by the Scottish exchange referee. It was last play and a quick tap was taken and attempts from George, Dec and Jamie all went close, unfortunately WL infringed at the breakdown and a penalty was awarded to Morley.
Morley kicked the ball straight off the pitch (rather than tapping then kicking), and were awarded the lineout, which was again disrupted by the WL pack and turned over. Calderwood went close from the resulting attack and Jamie Cockin was spreading the ball well from 9. Ste Anderson was next to attack the Morley line, woodlousing a would-be tackler before being hauled down just short. Eventually, the pressure told and George Carpenter burrowed his way over for a try and secured a bonus point for WL.
Full Time West Leeds 12 – 18 Morley
A disappointing loss at home and several things to work on this week, next up is an away trip to Percy Park. Man of the match this week was Keir Breakwell, securing the award for the second week in a row, you’d think his dad was the president….
Photos of the game are on the Morley website - link here
Finally, Archie Rika-Rayne has complained that he doesn’t get a mention in match reports, so here it is.
Updated 16:23 - 11 Sep 2018 by Dennis Elam
Updated 11:31 - 10 Sep 2018 by Daniel Baxter