A warm welcome to players and supporters of Morley RUFC, who make the journey from West Yorkshire for this North One East league game.
Morley current sit in 7th place in the league, 1 place and 2 points behind us (although they have a game in hand, a home tie vs West Leeds). Like us their league form has been a bit hit and miss this season, following their relegation from North Premier last season. They won at YMCA in December 12-14, lost at Malton 33-29 in November and lost at home to Cleck 17 -30. Like many of the teams this season, it seems if they have a full strength side out they will be hard to beat. In the first meeting between us this season it looked as though it was going to be a tight one at half time, with Driffield leading 6-7, but that was our high point and Morley turned on the gas and finished 39-7 victors. It has to be noted that at that point of the season Driffield had around 23 players missing from the 1st XV squad. Since then Morley have played 10 times, won 6 and lost 4. Whilst Driff have played 11, won 7 and lost 4.
Taking a look back through the history of matches between the two sides does not make good reading for Driffield supporters. We have met 7 times so far in league action, with Morley winning all 7 (as far as history on RFU.com goes). Although, Driffield did have a remarkable win in the Yorkshire Cup against Morley back in the 90s – it was held on the Showfield on a Sunday in the 1992/93 season. At this time Morley were playing in the National leagues and Driffield would be around Y1 / North 2. Driffield won with a last minute drop-goal kicked by the late Dave Howe.
Morley’s last 3 results
- Sat 12/01 beat Pocklington 26 – 21 at home
- Sat 05/01 won at York 39 – 19
- Sat 08/12 Won at YMCA 14 -12.
Driff’s last 3 results
- Sat 12/01 lost at Consett 17 – 7
- Sat 05/01 won at Brid 42 – 27
- Sat 22/12 lost at home to Morpeth 22 – 34.
Driffield will be looking to bounce back after last week’s loss at Consett. It was one of those weeks that we seem to have from time to time. Away day at the bottom of the league, Consett only won once so far. However if you look at Consett’s home results they have not been far away, and unfortunately it took until half-time for us to realise we had a game to play. Add to that the 50 minutes played with 14 men : 10 mins for Brumfield yellow, 38 For Dervey red which has been rescinded on further examination. We couldn’t quite manage to get back in the game. The 2nd row’s drop-goal in the last play rubbing salt into our wounds and denying us a losing BP. A surprise result for many, but I honestly see Consett taking another few wins, especially at home.
A few changes needed after knocks picked up last weekend and a bit of illness around. In the pack, Dervey and Robson are unavailable so Waterhouse starts, with Zavatti on the bench. Back row Turner starts for the injured Cullen. Sowersby replaces unavailable Gray at scrum-half, with Furbank and Watts swapping positions, Watts to 10, Furbank to 15. Soanes and Brankley start in the centres in place of Stephenson who is injured and Rowbottom who gets a spot on the bench. Walgate coming in to fill the final replacements spot.
In League news, the top three have managed to pull a little gap on 4th place. Scarborough lead the way on 64 points, Morpeth in 2nd on 59 with YMCA in 3 on 58. 4th to 12 is still as tight as it has been – 11 points covering the 8 teams. B & B sit 4th on 47, York 5th and Driff 6th level on 45, Morley 7th 43, Percy Park 8th 40, Malton 9th and Cleck 10th both on 38 points, Pock 11th 37, Brid 12th 36. Then West Leeds 13th 24 and Consett bottom with 13 points.
Some against the grain results last weekend : Brid winning 33 – 29 at Cleckheaton, York winning at Percy Park 19 -17 and of course our result at Consett. Morpeth put another marker down with a massive win away at Bradford, winning 29 – 5. Scarborough the same, although apparently this was a last-minute score that put YMCA away, Scarborough 13 – 12 at home. Morley beat Pock 26 – 21 and Malton beat West Leeds 24 – 11.
Big game this weekend as Scarborough travel to Morpeth : if Scarborough win they will be tough to catch, while a Morpeth win kind of opens the league up a bit more. A Derby at York as they entertain Malton, with a win needed for both sides. West Leeds host Bradford & Bingley, Pock host Percy Park, West Yorkshire derby at the YMCA as the host Cleck, and Consett look to turn over another East Yorkshire side as they travel to Brid. It really is a league that could go any way at this moment.
Driffield RUFC 1st xv vs Morley RUFC, Sat 19/01/2019 KO 2.15pm.
- R Mewburn (c)
- G Mewburn
Good luck to everyone.