Rugby Union: Morley maintain winning start to the season

Luke Watts
Luke Watts
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Tries in the last 10 minutes from Andy Funnell and Luke Watts gave Morley a 25-21 victory over West Hartlepool to maintain their winning start to the season.

It was the second try of the afternoon for each of the wingers against a side whose line had not been breached in the opening four games of the campaign.

With the forwards evenly matched, Morley had the edge in the backs and Funnell ended West’s proud defensive record after 28 minutes when he crossed for a try converted by Mark Chester.

The visitors hit back with a converted try and two penalties before Watts crossed in the 46th minute, Chester adding the extras and a penalty to put his side 15-13 in front. The game swung back Hartlepool’s way when they scored a try and penalty but Morley’s dominant backs clinched the victory that takes them up to second in the table.

A powerful display from Huddersfield’s pack gave them the edge in a tight 26-19 win over Sandal whose 100 per cent start to the season came to a halt.

Henry Roberts went over in the last eight minutes and Stephen Depledge added the conversion to give Otley a 7-5 win at Chester in a National 2 North match they should have sewn up long before.

The home side made the better start and dominated the first quarter but only had an unconverted try to show for their efforts.

Having withstood the best Chester had to offer, Otley then took control of the match but with defences strong on both sides they struggled to make their superior possession pay.

Four penalty attempts went astray including one in front of the posts and it looked as though Otley might have nothing to show for a dominating display until Roberts finally found his way to the line and captain Depledge slotted home the winning points.

Harrogate’s preparations went to pot when their coach broke down en route to Leicester Lions – where they subsequently lost 26-20, despite once again ‘winning’ the second half as they have in every game so far this season.

Wharfedale, meanwhile, were out-scored three-to-one in National League One at Henley.

It finished 39-13 – a result against mid-table opposition that leaves Wharfedale among the drop spots.