Wharfedale players praised for toppling league leaders

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Phil Woodhead put in a superb defensive stint in the unusual position of centre as leaders Doncaster Knights were beaten Phil Woodhead put in a superb defensive stint in the unusual position of centre as leaders Doncaster Knights were beaten

Wharfedale coach John Feeley has praised his players for the way they adapted in their rousing 19-17 win over SSE National League One leaders Doncaster Knights.

The Greens had to reshape their side when Leeds Carnegie recalled Ben Hooper, Christian Georgiou, Jack Barnard and Josh Burridge, and they then had to make a further change when centre Joe Donkin was ruled out an hour before kick-off with an ankle injury.

Feeley said: “I cannot praise the players enough for the way they adapted.

“We had to change a number of key combinations within the team and we still came up with a big performance.”

Feeley had special praise for Phil Woodhead. Normally a scrum half, Woodhead was selected to play full back but was switched to centre at the last minute when Donkin pulled out.

“Phil was up against one of the biggest centres in the league but he stood up to the test. He is an incredibly brave player,” Feeley said.

“I was also impressed with the way we executed a complicated training ground move to create our try for Scott Jordan. That was brave given all the changes.”

Wharfedale’s selectors have made just one change for Saturday’s trip to Blackheath.

Donkin is fit to return at centre, which means Woodhead will switch to full back, with Nick Taylor dropping to the bench.

Wharfedale have lost their last seven matches at Blackheath – albeit by an average of only five points.

Blackheath finished tenth last season, despite losing their last six matches.

They made a reasonable start to the current campaign but have won only once since early October.

Last Saturday they conceded seven tries in losing at Old Albanians, a result which dropped them into the relegation zone.

Wharfedale: Phil Woodhead; Scott Jordan, Joe Donkin, Tom Davidson, Josh Prell; Tom Barrett, Matt Dudman; Chris Steel (capt), Ian Larkin, Jake Armstrong, Richard Brown, Richard Rhodes, Dan Solomi, Aaron Myers, Rob Baldwin. Replacements (from): Adam Howard, Dan Stockdale, Josh Burridge, Jack Barnard, Nick Taylor, Will Bell.

 

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