West Hartlepool suffer heavy defeat at Penrith

Action from the Peter Willgress Memorial match at Brinkburn on Saturday.
Action from the Peter Willgress Memorial match at Brinkburn on Saturday.

West’s away woes continued with a 10-try thrashing at new league leaders Penrith - putting another major dent in the Brinkburn club’s fight to avoid relegation.

Their cause wasn’t helped by injuries and unavailability of a number of leading players, with team selection only finalised on Saturday morning.

The team which did make it to Winters Park produced plenty of fight and enjoyed a fair share of possession, but when Penrith’s pacy back division turned on the afterburners, West had no answer.

The visitors started well,camping on the home line and forcing several penalties with Gavin Painter opting for a drop goal rather than a formal shot at goal.

But that lead was to last only a matter of seconds as the restart kick was fumbled allowing No 8 Michael Raine the opportunity to gather and gallop in under the posts.

Matt Allinson’s conversion was the first of many, and he was in action again after eight minutes when fly-half Ross Jackson cruised a through a gap in the West cover.

With less than 10 minutes on the clock, West were already 14-3 down. It quickly got worse as left winger Brad Taylor went over on the quarter hour mark.

West did rally forcing Penrith to defend desperately on their line. Andrew Rollins, once again leading from the front, did get over but referee Martin Maughan ruled the ball had been held up.

Penrith lost second row John Dent to the sin bin as West continued to press with Adam Peacock putting a foot in touch as he went for the corner.

However, the pressure eventually paid off with Gavin Painter making a ten metre break to find Scott Butcher in support. His try reduced the arrears to 21-10.

West were still in the game at this poiint only to be hit by two quick tries just before the break.

The Penrith pack were having the better of the scrums and mauls and drove West back towards their 22 with skipper Ryan Painter deliberately pulling the maul down.

While he was having an enforced rest, second row Dan Richardson and scrum half George Graham both scored tries. Allinson added one conversion to give the home side a commanding 33-10 lead at the break.

The half time team talk spurred West on and they enjoyed another good spell of pressure only to come up against a well organised and determined home defence.

West No 8 Andy Turner almost got over only to knock on as he hit the line at pace.

However, there was no denying winger Adam Peacock his first try in league rugby when he was sent in at the corner after a break on the short side of a ruck 15 metres out.

Sadly, that was the end of the West revival as the home side set about racking up another five tries through speedy full back Jamie McNaughton, replacement second row Will Morgan, second row John Dent, and a brace for 17-year-old winger Olly May.

Penrith: Jamie McNaughton, Olly May, Jamews Boustead, Matt Allinson, Brad Taylor, Ross Jackson, Geirge Graham, Ian McDowell, Craig Price, Lee Chapman, Dan Richardson, John Dent, Liam Tunsytall, Tom Lindsay, Mike Raine.

Reps (all used): Will Morgan, James Hogg, Bruce Spencer.

Tries: Raine, Jackson, Taylor, Richardson, Graham, McNaughton, Morgan, Dent, May (2).

Conversions: Allinson (8).

Yellow: Dent.

West: Zac Southern, Ben Armstrong, Will Hilditch, Peter Youll, Adam Peacock, Gavin Painter, Ryan Painter, Ross Wood, Andrew Rollins, Alex Key, John Bunter, Joe Rafferty, Scott Butcher, Alex Barker, Andrew Turner.

Reps: Jake Linighan. (not used: Dan Quinn, James Tyers).

Tries: Butcher, Peacock.

Conversion: G Painter. Drop Goal: G Painter.

Referee: Martin Maughan (Carlisle)