West Hartlepool coach demands better in Dinnington clash
West Hartlepool go into the first of back-to-back home games when they entertain Dinnington - looking to put last week's disastrous result at Pocklington behind them.
The Brinkburn side lost 52-5 – their biggest defeat in years – but stayed top of North One East with nearest rivals Penrith having their game called off because of frost.
West were heavily depleted last week and things got worse when skipper Danny Boatman and winger Will Hilditch both cried off with illness on the day.
After a fairly even first half they then lost Gavin Painter, Zac Southern and John Bunter to injury with the home side crossing the line five times in the last half hour.
Head coach Iain Dixon says his team are desperate to get back on track.
“We did have lots of injuries last week but that didn’t hide the fact that we let ourselves down in the last quarter,” he said.
“This week we have Dinnington who are in the bottom half, but they actually won at Pocklington the week before.
“They will have seen our result and will be coming to have a right go at the league leaders.”
Dixon will be boosted by the return of most of his players including Aaron Myers, Dan Boatman and Sam Miller in the forwards and Ryan Painter and Peter Youll in the backs.
There’s also better news on the injury front with John Bunter fit, and there’s an outside chance that playmaker Gavin Painter will be able to play despite having five stitches in an elbow injury last week.
It’s a selection headache of the right kind for Dixon, who added: “That’s the way it is in club rugby.
“You get injuries and you have lads who have work commitments, or their girlfriends whisk them away to London for a birthday treat.
“The bonus is that you are able to give league debuts to the likes of Matt Siddle at scrum half. He is only 17 but has just put in two excellent performances deputising for Ryan Painter.”
Dinnington won 27-19 at home to Percy Park last week.
West: Greg Edwards, Will Hilditch, Rob Thorn, Peter Youll, Liam Checksfield, Zac Southern, Joe Willis, Eldon Myers, Gavin Painter, Ryan Painter, Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Tim Blades, Ross Wood, John Bunter, Joe Rafferty, Lee Maddison, Alex Barker, Aaron Myers, Dan Boatman, Sam Miller.