Hull Ionians 15 Wharfedale 16: Greens celebrate as Ionians miss their late chance

HULL Ionians missed a last-minute penalty as visitors Wharfedale claimed a 16-15 victory from 15-6 down at the interval.

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This entertaining and exciting match had just about everything, including the right result for the Greens.

The first half belonged mostly to Ionians, with their powerful pack making life very difficult for the visitors in the set pieces.

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They capitalised on territorial ascendancy and pressure with two tries within five minutes midway through the half.

Winger Aquile Smith finished off a defence-stretching move in the right corner, then lock Joe Makin took the honour on behalf of the pack.

Scrum-half Isaac Green added a conversion and a penalty – and might havehad further chances had not captain Makin persistently opted for penalties to touch.

The Greens repeatedly dug deep to thwart the threatening drives by the home forwards.

Wharfedale, dogged as ever, maintained a foothold in the game thanks to two penalties from James Guy and they must have been happy to be just 15-6 in arrears at the break.

The second half was a dramatically different story. The Greens dominated quite 90 per cent of the proceedings and clawed their way to what proved a winning 16-15 lead.

Centre Cameron Hudson marked his welcome return to the side after injury by crashing over for a try on 52 minutes and Guy converted.

The stand-off then added what turned out to be a crucial 35-metre penalty.

In the final seconds, Hull engineered a penalty chance, in a very kickable position, but the ball sailed narrowly wide.

Paul Gustard is considering an offer to join the England coaching staff under new boss Eddie Jones.

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall revealed after his team’s 45-10 European Champions Cup victory over Oyonnax that 39-year-old Gustard had been offered an assistant coach’s role.

Saracens’ current defence and forwards coach – if he accepts the post – is expected to be joined among Jones’ support team by former England captain Steve Borthwick, who is currently working with Championship club Bristol. Time appears to have run out for coaches Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt, who supported the now departed Stuart Lancaster.