DUDLEY K'FORD 0
FOLLOWING last week's second half performance against league leaders Darlington, DK travelled to fellow strugglers Hull with a degree of optimism.
There were two changes from last Saturday, both in the front row. Ashley Newall and Richard Hickman replaced Alex Francis and Dan Shakespeare. Unfortunately the optimism was short lived as the big Hull pack took control from the kick off. This dominance created an armchair ride for the hosts' three quarter line. DK defended resolutely for ten minutes but their defence was finally breached when a hole was carved in the centre and full back Jamie Barnard entered the line to score. Greg Lound was successful with the conversion – Hull 7 DK 0
There then followed ten minutes of equal play contested between the two 22 metre lines. However, in the 20th minute Hull forced a lineout inside the DK 22 and after recycling the ball several times, it was worked wide to number eight Santiago Soccino who was loitering on the left wing to score. The try went unconverted
From the kick off DK made the catastrophic error for the second time by kicking the ball directly into touch.
The referee was not doing any favours for the DK pack with his interpretation of the engagement at the scrums. It was difficult to understand why he was allowing so much time after the set before he instructed the scrum half to put the ball in.
With their superior weight advantage this favoured the hosts' forwards. From the resulting scrum, following the poor kick off, the Hull threes unleashed an identical move which led to their first try and full back Jamie Barnard bagged his second try. This time Greg Lound made no mistake with the conversion – Hull 19 DK 0
Once again the kick off was poor, allowing Hull to immediately run the ball back. DK were penalised for handling on the floor and the resulting kick found touch five metres from the Dudlley line. The lineout was secured by Hull and they drove the ball over the try line for number eight to score. Greg Lound was unable to add the additional two points.
There then followed some excellent DK pressure but the final pass always seemed to go astray.
This was evident in the 30th minute when another DK sortie broke down and full back Jamie Barnard gathered a loose and ran the length of the pitch to cross for his hat trick. Greg Lound successfully added the conversion.
Just before the half time whistle there was a strange decision by the referee. Following a not straight at a Dudley lineout the hosts secured possession and following a long period of advantage Gareth Bown intercepted a pass to score under the posts, only for the referee to return for a scrum following the crooked lineout. When your luck is out, it's out. The first half came to an end in torrential rain and thunder.
Hull 31 DK 0
During the half time interval a horrendous storm descended on the ground, with torrential rain falling horizontally, a gale force wind directly down the ground and thunder and lightning. The conditions were so dreadful that it looked at one stage like the game would be abandoned. However, after a delay of in excess of 20 minutes the referee decided the game should continue.
As stated earlier when your luck is out it's out. At the commencement of the game there were no elements to contend with, now with the deterioration in the weather Hull kicked off the second half with a strong wind and rain at their backs.
DK fought hard against the conditions and showed great character but the sheer size of the home pack took its toll and in the 54th minute they scored a push over try. Greg Lound added the conversion.
There then followed a period of play between the two 22 metre lines where both teams attempted to play open rugby but the conditions took their toll and there was a catalogue of errors. During this period DK made several changes. Matt Squires replaced Richard Hickman and Ryan Smitherman made way for James Jefferson. Sam Pedley came into the back row at the expense of Jon Tideswell and newcomer Sam Shepherd made his debut replacing Kieran Pinches. Finally Josh Morrisey replaced Ashley Newall.
Unfortunately these changes could not halt the relentless pressure from the hosts and they went on to score a further four tries, successfully converting two.
With the rain and wind continuing, play became a comedy of errors but in their defence DK did not give in and showed a great deal of courage and resilience in defeat. The second half was marred in the 75th minute when Hull prop Thomas Price received a straight red card for a punch on Nick Murphy.