The previous game had been hampered by the weather and a refereeing display that left a lot to be desired. West Hull had been requested to provide a referee and whilst there were a few contentious decisions they didn’t in real terms have an impact on the result. Surprisingly the game was operated as an eleven a side game when both teams had sufficient to play thirteen.
The game started from the boot of Charlie Richmond and was well taken by the West’s fullback who leapt into the air to collect before making good yards until meeting his opposite number Josh Brannigan who came up with a good one on one tackle. West Hull’s early drives came down the Dockers left though Jack Rourke was working well with his team mates to snuff out the danger. The home side swapped their approach to the Dockers right where the defence was equal to the task forcing West’s to put a kick over the top which was safely collected by Charlie Webster.
Having missed the previous weeks game James McCulloch took the first drive and swatted off the first would be defender before Jordan Ellerington took drive two which was halted with the help of the ‘referee’ who was unable to get out of the Dockers props path as he made an early break. Next to break the line was Lee Gibson as he made good yards though an injury to another player allowed the home side to regroup. Charlie Webster moved the ball wide to Johnny Nolan though he was well wrapped up before he could get into his stride. Dockers scrum then took the ball back to the opposite flank where he brought in Teerth Dhesi for a drive setting up the high kick on the last play which was knocked on allowing Dockers a repeat set with James McCulloch collecting the ball to settle the play down.
Jordan Ellerington and Rhys Bryant took runs deep in the home quarter before Oliver took the ball wide right to bring in Charlie Richmond though he was well marked. Charlie Webster fed Johnny Nolan who weaved through the defence to score a well worked try which was converted by Charlie Richmond. West Hull responded with a determined attack on the Dockers left before switching the ball to the right where they put in a cross field grubber that was collected by a West Hull player to score on the seventh tackle which went unconverted.
Dockers forwards James McCulloch, Jordan Ellerington and Teerth Dhesi set the platform with drives back into the West Hull half. Dockers overplayed tackle four though West’s were pulled up for reefing the ball which saw the tackle count back to zero and James McCulloch taking his team forward once again. Oliver Dearing took on the defence and found Johnny Nolan though he was unable to weave his way to the line. Charlie Webster took the ball wide to bring in Charlie Richmond though again the defence was soon on him. Teerth Dhesi took a drive close to the line though some good defence saw him stopped in his tracks before Charlie Webster brought Johnny Nolan back into the attack, once again, though the West’s defence held strong. The Dockers scrum half put in a neat kick on the last tackle though Rhys Bryant was unable to ground the ball before it went dead.
West Hull made good yards with their set though their kick on the last tackle was well gathered by Josh Brannigan who took the ball to safety. James McCulloch and Jordan Ellerington made good drives and got a roll on for the visitors with quick plays of the ball before Oliver Dearing took the ball wide to Charlie Richmond though once again the West’s defence was quick out of the line to stop the danger. An unforced error on tackle four saw the ball handed back in good field position for the home side. The error was soon penalised by West Hull as they slipped the ball in the tackle to score in the corner for a second unconverted try.
Dockers James McCulloch, Jordan Ellerington, Thomas Holtby and Teerth Dhesi drove the ball back into the West’s half before Charlie Webster took on the line with Josh Brannigan before the Dockers scrum half put a high kick up which allowed the visitors defence to put the home line under pressure. As West Hull moved the ball well through hands they were penalised for crossing, letting Dockers off the hook. James McCulloch, Jordan Ellerington, and Teerth Dhesi were again on top as the forwards were making good yards taking a lot of defenders to halt before Charlie Webster broke the first line and found Lee Gibson running wide for Dockers second try which was converted by Teerth Dhesi to take the lead for the visitors.
West Hull then played panic rugby and whilst they made some good yards a wayward pass went to ground to be collected by an alert Lee Gibson. Jordan Ellerington, Teerth Dhesi and Thomas Holtby started to build the pressure once again though the forwards were taking play back into the ruck making their runs easy to defend. Charlie Webster took the opportunity for an early kick which was well chased with the Dockers scrum half involved in the defensive response. The sides then exchanged errors deep in the West’s half before the home side broke through the defence to score a converted try and re-gain the lead.
Again Dockers made an unforced error on tackle three giving the ball back to West Hull though despite a solid set Dockers defended well with Josh Brannigan taking the kick on the last tackle, again taking the ball to safety. Oliver Dearing took an early scoot to start the Dockers response finding Charlie Richmond who made good progress. James McCulloch slipped the first tackle to make yards before Johnny Nolan took on the defence. Charlie Webster took the ball to the Dockers left with Josh Brannigan before another high kick was put up only to be well taken by the home fullback though with over eagerness the ball was knocked on giving Dockers another set in the home quarter. James McCulloch and Jordan Ellerington set up play before Charlie Webster shipped the ball out to Charlie Richmond who was able to squeeze in at the corner for a try converted by Josh Brannigan in the 28th minute to give the lead back to Dockers at 18-14.
Half time score West Hull 14 – Hull Dockers 18.
After a good first half it was down to Dockers to build on their lead though West Hull had other ideas!
In short the home side completely dominated the second half scoring five tries without response and the only saving grace was that they continued to struggle to convert the tries.
Once again fingers were pointed at some of the refereeing decisions though a combination of poor defence and a lack of options in attack were Dockers downfall which started with the first action of the second half when the kick off was knocked on. The home side played some good rugby releasing the ball in the tackle which saw them regain the lead at the end of their first set.
Whilst Dockers forwards continued to run hard they made it far too easy for the defenders as time after time the ball was taken back into the ‘ruck’ area where the defenders were ready and waiting to make the tackle. When they did run it wide they demonstrated how they could make big yards.
In previous weeks Dockers had, had options both with ball in hand and with a whole arsenal of kicks though time and again the option was a high kick which was largely taken by a West Hull back with the knack of being in the right place and the pace to break the first line of defence to repeatedly put Dockers back under pressure. West Hulls second try on the second half was only delayed by some good individual defence from Johnny Nolan though came too easy as the acting half took the ball across the defensive line to pick his spot to score in kicking range.
West’s third set could have resulted in try three as they found yards easy to come by though over confidence saw the ball knocked on and the pressure taken off the visitors. Again the forwards effort was plain to see, assisted by the returning Rhys Bryant and replacement Kaine Warnock as well as the endeavours of Josh Brannigan, Johnny Nolan and Charlie Richmond who all tried to find holes in the defence without success. Again there was respite for Dockers as Johnny Nolan managed to get a barge in on the West’s attacker as he released the ball which was pounced on by Lee Gibson to secure possession. Both teams were forced to make changes as Jordan Ellerington, taking the ball in, and a West’s forward were sent to cool down though Jordan was hard done by as he was punched before being pushed around and he did nothing more than defend himself which the ‘referee’ was unable to do.
Dockers could have had the ball back in good field position as a West’s player made a good kick return and knocked the ball on though the ‘referee’ deemed that the ball had been reefed giving the ball back to his team in a similar manner to a decision that went in Dockers favour in the first half. Soon after West’s extended their lead as they exploited poor defence to score an unconverted try. Dockers continued to get to the end of their sets though without threatening the line and with the return set West’s made too many yards as try four came soon later.
Dockers could have been penalised ball in hand on their next set as the attacking player ran behind team mates with shouts of obstruction from the home touch line which would have been picked up by a more experienced official. Again the kick at the end of the set did little more than turn the ball over as West’s again carved open the Dockers defence as a forward charged half the length of the pitch to score what was to be West’s last try.
Despite being on the wrong end of their biggest defeat of the season the boys attempted to keep going forward, playing to the end, and Dockers next set saw one of the few highlights of the second half as Kaine Warnock broke the defensive line with a good run. Once again the West Hull clocks were on a go slow and the misery was dragged out for almost half an hour when twenty minutes was more than enough!
Final score West Hull 38 – Hull Dockers 18
Man of the match was another difficult one though the forwards had attempted to take the game to West Hull and the backs had continually probed for openings. Johnny Nolan can’t have been far off with a string of big tackles though the award was given to Lee Gibson for his all round display capped off with a try.
Dockers showed both their best qualities in the first half and the worst in the second. The players need to watch the DVD (however painful) and whilst there was effort evident they need to ask themselves did they give it their best. For those players who got little or no game time they need to ask how they can push for more game time.
At the end of the game Des had some harsh words for the boys and whilst a lot of it was warranted the coaching team need to look at how they motivate the boys next week for another tough match against arguably a better side. Defence is key though the boys need a game plan that whilst maintaining structure is less easy to defend against. West Hull should be given the credit they deserve as they played some good open rugby that brought them the tries and a solid defensive display that stopped Dockers scoring in the second half.
After a very disappointing result it must always be remembered that the boys are still only nine and ten, again no points were on offer and teams at a much higher standard regularly put in similar displays! This weekend gives the boys the opportunity to start putting a few things right by putting in maximum effort at training.
Please note that Monday’s training has been postponed to Tuesday evening, venue to be confirmed on Saturday.
Next up is a tough home game against the Skirlaugh Bulls