The team met at 1pm at the club house in Copley eager to get on the road and continue the fantastic start to the season set out last week. However, communications seemed to be a little blurred with the majority sat in the club house the captain and 2 team mates were already in Bingley!!!. Not the best start to away day games.
When the rest of the team caught up with the captain at Wagon Lane the lite drizzle had become increasingly more persistent. The team ran out together for the pre-match warm up and chose the end of the ground were the WW2 celebrations were taking place. Although the music was very good the volume made it hard to be heard but the coaching team battled through and got the team through the necessary warm up.
By the time both teams had made the field the weather had deteriated considerably and what was lite rain had turned into the type of rain we are used to in this country around this time of year. How we can forget?!?!. I think Bees kicked off and started the game aggressively pinning the Rish team into their own 22. But as discussed in the changing room before the game, the Rish boys were wanting to play their style of rugby and attack wherever the opportunity arises. This can only come from having a no blame culture and an emphasis on the team rather than the individual, which to the Dev Teams credit they showed in abundance.
After 5 minutes of Bees aggressive defence, skipper and stand off for the day Kurt Sutcliffe moved the ball to the three quarters just outside his 22 (who said you need an exit?) and Liam Philips playing at fullback came into the line at pace and playing with his head up realised that spaces were there for running into. He made 50 metres and although tackled had the skill and composure to fall on the ball and roll in contact to stop the opposition from getting hands on the ball before cover came in to secure possession. Unfortunately, after a few drives from the forwards the ball was lost in contact and the Bees cleared their lines.
To say the first half was a game of stops and starts was an understatement as the conditions hampered both teams and the referees interpretation of the break was none too clear for both teams. Rish must have conceded at least 15 penalties in the first half and the majority in the attacking 3rd.
Rish did have the first scoring opportunity from a penalty from just outside the opposition 22 which the skipper took as a kick and to his credit threw the kicking tee to scrum half Kian Sutcliffe to take the kick. Kian was making his first appearance at open age rugby, as well as Harry Doherty on the right wing and Azza Nowell making his second appearance on the left flank, unfortunately the kick was sliced and the score remained at 0-0.
The game ebbed and flowed, and the Bees managed to pin Rish back into their own 22 and although they showed great endeavour and commitment to work the ball upfield Rish were penalised for going off their feet at the ruck and the Bees took the penalty kick to score the only points of the first half.
The first half was played at a pace far slower than what The Dev play at and the coach let them know at half time emphasising the need to take the ball going forward and not stationary 5 metres behind the gain line with the front row taking most of the criticism for not running their weight……
As mentioned previously I can’t remember for sure who kicked off, but the game was played in the Bees half for the first 5 mins at least, so maybe it was Rish’s turn to start the game???. The rain had cleared, and it seemed to give Rish a spur as they realised their potential and stated to attack the Bees at will. One attack being stifled again by a ref decision which the Bees took their advantage and kicked Rish back into their own half.
To say the least Kurt Sutcliffe’s kicking from hand was sublime?!?! and after another aimless and poorly executed kick Bees gained possession and relieved pressure by attacking the Dev boys around the rucks which seemed to be their main weapon. Unfortunately, the Bees knocked on inside their own half around the 10metre line, centre field.
From the resulting scrum Kian Sutcliffe fed Kurt Sutcliffe in the standoff channel and like Moses he seemed to make the defence part to allow him to ghost through the gap and outpace the defence for an excellent solo try. Young Kian took the conversion from right on the touch line and although he struck the kick beautifully the kick hit the upright and bounced dead. Bees 3 – 5 Rish.
The game then became bogged down with penalties, free kicks and scrums due in turn to poor execution from both teams, poor decision making and indecisive refereeing which played perfectly into the Bees hand and took the wind out of the Rish sides sails!. Rish were lucky not to concede a try when the Bees left winger set off from outside his 22 to run nearly the full length only for him to be hauled back by Gez Rollings around the shirt collar when he looked certain to score. The saving grace for Rollings and the team was the yardage made by Liam Philips to get across to cover which must have swayed the referee not to allow a penalty try or even a yellow card,
After a serious of attacks and then a succession of penalties the Bees eventually got a penalty in kicking distance which they took and the successful kick made the score 6-5 with around 8 to play. Substitutions were made to get more go forward onto the pitch for Rish and with their backs to the wall they pulled together and showed what a good team they are becoming. They kept pushing forward with strong drives and great positional awareness working the spaces behind the Bees and defending stoically to repel their advances.
In the last minute of the game Rish were awarded a penalaty kick just inside the Bees half. Skipper Sutcliffe through the ball to Kian to kick to touch for the final push. The kick was sublime, within 10 meters of the Bees line. However the ref pulled them back as the Bees had a player on the ground receiving attention and then asked Sutcliffe to take the kick again 2 metres inside his own half. So be it, the young man nailed the same kick and Rish had the lineout 10 metres out.
It was the last paly of the game and Rish knew they needed to push for the line, Bees also knew they couldn’t concede a penalty and there fore the Rish boys were at last allowed good clean ball from the rucks which they used very intelligently moving the Bees defence around and committing the opposition defence to rucks they had previously been allowed to stand off. After the 8th phase of play the ball came left through Sutcliffe and Sutcliffe, not the brothers I might add, yes it’s a Sutcliffe invasion, to Chris Flanagan who showed all his skill and composure to fix the defender step inside and then dive under 2 would be tacklers to score the try on the last paly, Kian Sutcliffe then casually stepped up and slotted the tricky conversion to make the score Bees 6 – 12 Rish Dev and keep the run going.
Special mentions to the young lads playing up from the colts. Kian Sutcliffe at scrum half and harry Doherty and Azza Nowell on the wings. Big Brucie was a go forward runner all day as well as the strong work he put in the scrum, but the top mention goes to Greg Withers our open side flanker. Constant, tenacious, aggressive, technically sound to mention a few of this lads attributes at 17……
Tries: Kurt Sutcliffe Chris Flanagan
Cons: Kian Sutcliffe
|1. B Karolo||2.K Hattam||3. P Kershaw|
|6.W Bowers||7. G Withers|
|4. J McHugh||5. C Bell|
|8. G Rollings|
|9. Kian Sutcliffe C|
|10. Kurt Sutcliffe T|
|12. C Flanagan T|
|13. L Sutcliffe|
|11.H Doherty||14. A Nowell|
|15. L Phillips|
|Subs||W Aldridge||A Sykes||J Smart||A Khan|
Bradford Bees v Rishworthians Slideshow.
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