Rugby Union: Morley book place in play-offs with Driffield win

Rory Mason made his Morley debut at prop in the win over Driffield. Pic: Dennis Elam
Rory Mason made his Morley debut at prop in the win over Driffield. Pic: Dennis Elam

Morley guaranteed their place in next month’s play-offs for promotion to National Three North with a comfortable 40-19 triumph at Driffield.

The Maroons secured the five-point win and strengthened their grip on second spot in North One East largely thanks to a sensational first-half display in which they racked-up 33 unanswered points.

Centre Johnny Sykes opened the scoring on five minutes and the visitors grabbed their second on 18 minutes when second row Will Smyth crossed after a series of scrums and forward drives.

Quick hands from Sykes and Richard Knowles released Dante van der Merwe and he outpaced the opposition full-back to score the visitors’ third.

Morley clinched the try-scoring bonus point with only 30 minutes played. After his powerful diagonal run from halfway, Iain Sim fed van der Merwe and Harrison Baylis was in support to crash over.

The Maroons’ brilliant first 40 minutes was rounded-off shortly before the break when Sim burst through tackles to reach over the line. Mark Chester kicked his fourth conversion from five to put Morley out of sight at the interval.

Driffield replied on 49 minutes through Alex Piercey’s self-converted try only for Knowles to register Morley’s sixth try, improved by Chester.

The visitors were reduced to 14 when Tom Richmond was yellow carded and the hosts took advantage, Simon Pettinger crossing.

Driffield had the final say when Piercey crossed and converted but the game belonged to Morley, who host North One East champions Doncaster Phoenix on Saturday (3pm).

Table toppers Phoenix confirmed the league title with a 50-17 home win over Guisborough last Saturday.