Pocklington 27 – 26 West Leeds
Wests lose on the road
Wests headed to Pocklington with the team full of new signings, as recently publicised on Yorkshire’s premier rugby forum, no less than seventeen new players in the side, along with coaches son, Sam Neave.
Having been stuck in traffic on the way WL arrived later than planned, although perhaps the biggest delay was caused by admiration for Ste Andersons new trousers.
An early chance went begging for Wests when Alex Hughes went close, but ended up swan diving into touch having ran up the rather substantial bank on the corner of the Pock pitch. Pock then took advantage of WL now weekly indiscipline to raise in to a 6-0 lead.
Wests then finally managed to keep hold of the ball for a few phases and scored a try through the new hooker that has joined on loan from Carnegie, who describes the score as follows – ‘seized on a dropped ball to scoop it up one handed, breaking through the despairing tackle of a Pock centre, stepping another Pock defender before bumping off the full back to swan dive under the posts for a converted try’ 6-7.
Wests fell foul of the referee again when George Carpenter laid on the wrong side and informed the referee of why, in fact, he should be awarding WL a penalty, the referee awarded Pock a penalty. George continued to try and ‘educate’ the referee and was marched back 10m. As the referee had obviously not been educated enough, George carried out one final knowledge test for the referee who had had enough and sent George to the bin, having recently joined on loan from Leicester Tigers he will have to get used to the standards expected of him at WL quickly. Pock gratefully took the three points on offer 9-7.
The next moment of note was when the ball bobbled loose, and rather than secure play, DTR booted the ball on the volley down into the Pock 22. The Pock lineout was impressive as the hooker managed to hit the back jumper at almost every lineout, in what were particularly slippery conditions, unfortunately for them, the one time that they over threw DTR snaffled the ball and scooted over for a try like the little worm that he is. Regrettably, Cam missed the conversion, preferring to save his kicking ability for touchliners only as they make better profile pictures. 9-12.
George Carpenter returned to the field and had some making up to do, and immediately set about doing so, ripping the ball from the Pock attacker and throwing on to new signing Ben Stringer. Ben Stringer took the ball on, drawing the defender before perfectly executing a pass out wide to allow Sam Marshall to cross in the corner, a fine full debut for WL new winger. As this kick was difficult enough Cam kicked it - 9-17.
Pocklington then made the most of some particularly poor tackling to cross out wide before half time to take the score to 14-19.
Half Time – Pocklington 14 – 19 West Leeds
A poor clearout provided Pock with another chance for three points, when WL were adjudged to have entered from the side. The points were was duly taken to take the score to 17-19.
A try followed for Pock when they seized on some confusion at a breakdown, the referee awarding advantage but holding his arm out the wrong way, WL stopped, Pock didn’t and the score went to 22-19.
Discipline was again a problem when new signing Dec Penny received his third yellow card in two games, although Pock were also guilty of infringing and had a man sent to the naughty step as well. Pock seemed to adjust to being a man down quickest however as they identified a mismatch out wide to cross in the corner and take the score to 27-19.
Wests were now more than a score behind, chasing both the win and a try scoring bonus point. WL broke up the right hand wing with new signing Sam Thornton showing his electric pace to take play up to the home 22, before offloading to Jack Marshall, who went for the corner, but the try wasn’t awarded as Jack was deemed to have crossed into touch first.
WL kept the pressure on though and debutant Simon Hirst came on at loosehead to shore up the scrum and provide a platform for George Carpenter to take the play up to the home try line. Several of WL new signings went close, Mitch, Duane and George all being repelled when close to the line, and Pock this time tested the referees patience infringing at the breakdown several times. From one surge for the line, Mitch was repelled and Pock put hands in the ruck and held on for dear life, the referee lost patience and awarded a penalty try with 90 seconds left. 27-26.
From the resulting kick off Pock reclaimed the kick and saw the clock down to full time to secure the win.
Full Time 27-26.
Man of the match was Sam Marshall, who put in some big hits in defence, scored a try and stepped pretty much the entire Pock team.
Unfortunately the WL injury curse struck again DTR straining his hamstring volleying the ball, Jamie Cockin rolling his ankle and Ben Stringer catching Luke Waite’s shoulder disease and unfortunately missing Yorkshire County U20s training with the problem. Although the main damage that day was to the bromance between club legend Dan Baxter, and referee's favourite George Carpenter, with the relationship falling victim to a post match 'lovers tiff' - stay tuned for next week to see if we're friends again....
WL were disappointed to only leave with 2 league points and there are several areas to work on for this weeks test against Driffield, although further new signings are expected with loans due from Stade Francais, Toulon and the Highlanders.