Wetherby RUFC 1st XV – Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV

March 2, 2024 3:00 pm48:13Grange Park Wetherby West Yorkshire LS22 5NB
Started on March 2, 2024

Pythons suffer in the second half at Wetherby

Harrogate Pythons visited 2nd place Wetherby needing to gain league points.  But, once again, The Pythons were in the game up to the second half when Wetherby showed why they’re pushing Bradford Salem for the top slot.

Wetherby were first on the scoreboard and Will Clough kicked a penalty to score his 502nd point for the club, 7-3.  The Pythons played a much tighter game with Herbie Milton and Will Milne slotting in well to the back row.  Several powerful phases kept The Pythons on the home 5m with the usual impact players George Booth, Hugh Tatlow and Matt Leach all held up inches from the line.  Veteran Gareth ‘Zippy’ Drane controlled distribution at scrum half but the Wetherby defence held firm.  Clearing their lines, Wetherby broke away twice to outpace the Pythons defence with Clough adding another penalty 19-6 half time.

With the rain pouring down and the pitch deteriorating fast Wetherby found gaps in defence scoring 3 more tries, 36-6.  The Pythons stole a line out on half way, Tatlow crashed through the defence to set up an attacking maul on the home 22.  Quick hands from Drane and Jed Carr sets his back line to carry the ball to the 5m line.  Some determined clearing out from Sandy Dunlop and Milton opens up a gap for Clough to snipe over the line.  He adds the extras 36-13.  With both sides tiring quickly with the heavy pitch Wetherby managed to find gaps in defence to run over 2 more tries, 48-13 full time.

With 3 games left to play The Pythons are 2 points clear of The Bees, who recorded their 4th win of the season.  With away games at Hullensians and Leodiensian and a home fixture against former league favourites Keighley every point is a must from now on.

After the game Coach Dan Bird said, “We competed well in the first third.  Our set piece work was great and we made some positive moves pushing for the line.  We had a couple of injuries and used our bench pretty quickly which didn’t help our planned rotations to deal with the conditions.  We conceded too many tries in the second half but will use the positives from the first half to build on for the remainder of the season”.

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