SIMON SMITH - Great response from the team

Simon Smith's columnSimon Smith's column
Simon Smith's column
It’s never easy to see someone suffer such a horrific injury as Benny (Blackall) did on Saturday.

Benny was on the ground for a long time before being taken to hospital and the players were visibly shook up by it - some of them looked as white as a sheet heading back into the changing room.

Ultimately, the decision to carry on with the game was theirs and obviously I’d have backed them 100% with whatever they’d have decided.

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They showed real character to come back out and I have to say, that was our best second-half performance of the season in testing circumstances.

Driffield are a strong side and in second place for a reason, so to overcome such a nasty injury and come out and win the game in such a strong fashion was fantastic.

Luke Brown was a deserving man of the match for us. He continually improves year-on-year since joining us from Whitby RUFC and we’re so pleased he made that decision.

One of the key factors with Luke is his willingness to learn and improve - and he’s really benefiting from it on the field.

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We’re seeing the same sort of improvements and qualities with Joe Nellist and it’s great to see players using the video analysis and extra work off the field to their advantage.

Craig Fairbairn and Dave Beck do a great job with the video footage that Gavin Wakeham takes for us and we’re reaping the rewards of that.

Tom Ratcliffe displayed his excellent ability and game management towards the end of the game with a fantastic drop-kick.

He’s an excellent footballer and it takes great skill and execution to pull off something like that, and he also knew if he could make it it’d put us two scores away from them.

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He’s a very technically gifted player and we’ve seen him do that before and I’m sure we’ll see him do it again in the future too.

Another technically gifted player, Tom Harrison, could make his return to action this weekend.

It’s imperative that he gets some minutes under his belt and we can’t rush him back too soon.

It’ll be like signing a new player when Tom gets back on the field and that’ll be a big boost for us.

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Another player we’re adamant we won’t rush back is Ben Martin, who is still unable to train or play due to concussion protocol.

We have no plans to re-introduce him this year and are keen not to rush him.

We travel to Morley on Saturday for what we know will be a tough contest.

They put 20 points on us early on at their place last year and although we fought back and managed to get a foothold in the game, we couldn’t turn it around.

We’ll have to play well if we’re going to come away with a positive result.