2nd derby of the season sees us head over to Malton for our North One East match.
With last week’s excellent bonus point win over YMCA still fresh, Driffield will make the quick trip over the Wolds full of confidence. If you take the last three matches, win over Pock, lost by a point up at Hartlepool, and last week’s victory, things are looking good.
However, it is still very early in the season, and I’m sure our neighbours would love to give that confidence a downgrade.
Malton have had a steady start to their first season back at this level; they gained promotion from Yorkshire after finishing 2nd to Bradford & Bingley, before beating Middlesbrough in the play-off. So far this year they have visited Pocklington, YMCA & Dinnington and hosted West Hartlepool. They lost the first 3, Pock, YMCA & West without gaining a bonus point, then beat Dinnington on their last outing securing a BP try in a 25 – 21 victory.
Looking at the team sheet for Malton for last week’s game, the entire back line seem to be from the southern hemisphere, with a mix of South Africans, Australians & the odd Kiwi. Now, we all know that Driffield have had overseas players for the past decade, and from all three countries named above, but surely to have 5 or 6 in a team cannot be good for the club. We had, for one or two games 5 or 6 in our first team, but luckily the coaching staff, committee & senior management realised this was a mistake and quickly rectified the situation.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for our opponents in the weeks and months to come.
We last played Malton in the Yorkshire Cup 1st round at the end of August in the last pre-season game. Driffield won in what ended a close match after Driffield had a healthy lead. Before that the last time we met in a league game was back in 2013/2014 season. We did the double that season, winning 37 – 32 at Driff and then coming out 70 – 33 to the good at the Gannock. That season Malton finished last in the league on 41 points, we were 4th on 67.
No doubt it will be a tight, pressurised game. I’m sure there will be a large crowd and plenty of support for the Woldsmen.
Good luck to everyone.