Wests finished off the first half of the season at home to Driffield, injuries again hit the team hard with Dec Penny, Stringer, George and Jamie all missing this week – ie the entire set of back row options from the week before – 10 of the registered 12 back row players at WL were unavailable this week. Luckily John Marshall, Danny Lock and Dan Baxter were available to fill the gap, answers on a postcard for which of this three was not classed as a backrow.
The first score went to WL when Jack Marshall seized on a loose ball, following some expert defence from Alex Hughes and brother John Marshall, to race away from his own half for a converted try. 7-0.
A high tackle on Alex Hughes provided WL with a penalty on the home 10m, which they kicked for the touch. Unfortunately, Cam got greedy and used his howitzer of a left boot to kick the ball dead. From the resulting scrum Driffield took advantage of some weak tackling to cross under the posts for a converted try, 7-7.
Next score belonged to Driff who again capitalised on some poor tackling to score a converted try. 7-14.
From the kick off the Driffield 8 burst through a number of would-be tacklers to take play to the home 22, an high tackle provided the opportunity for three points for Driff, but they missed this. Unfortunately a dreadful kick from the club top try scorer placed the ball straight in the bread basket of the away winger, who surged back to the home 22, before another Driff try followed under the posts after a strong run. 7-21.
Sam Neave was now joined the engine room up front as Sam Marshall came on to the pitch for Mitch. Sam was only to last a few minutes doing some real mans graft before he succumbed to an injury and had to leave the pitch.
In the meantime though, Dan Baxter expertly fielded an exit from Driffield, passing on to Jack Marshall who took play up to the halfway line. Duane Smith then wriggled out of an attempted tackle to break the gain line and with WL on the front foot the ball was spun out wide. The pass was somewhat wayward and Alex Hughes, inspired perhaps by DTR from previous weeks, volleyed the ball on the full straight to the full back. He then charged down the full back and crossed for a try next to the sticks. 14-21.
This was to conclude WL scoring for the game unfortunately and Driff extended the lead just before half time with a routine penalty, to take the score to 14-24.
Half Time 14-24.
WL turned round as the heavens opened and spent the majority of the second period in the home half, either defending much more resolutely than the first half, or trying to break through the impressive away defensive line. There were a couple of breaks of note, Jack Marshall and Calders featuring prominently in these, but nothing that added to the scoreboard.
Two scores for Driff happened late into the second half, one under the posts exploiting some tired tackles and one a penalty try from a scrum when the hammer was deemed to have wheeled, for which he was binned.
Full Time West Leeds 14 – 38 Driffield
There were few positives from the game, but Danny Lock again put in a great performance in the back row to take this weeks man of the match award for getting through 75 tackles. Discipline was much better this week, the penalty count was down and only the one yellow card this week.
This Saturday we take on Morley away as we begin the second half of the season.
Updated 16:39 - 11 Dec 2018 by Daniel Baxter