After the rain and then snow of last week it wasn't until mid morning on Saturday that the pitches at Copley were deemed fit for play. Visitors on Saturday were second placed Wharfedale who had whupped us 60-19 in the first game of the season. Since then Rishies have found their feet and consolidated their place in the league after a run of 4 victories. Going in to the game Rish were full of confidence and came away with another fine win against a well drilled Green Machine.
Saturday afternoon was interesting and frustrating in so many ways. The game went ahead in Baltic conditions, with gusty winds and bursts of horizontal snow throughout causing atrocious conditions, but Rish started like a house on fire. Within 5 minutes the first real break of the game saw Ben Sutcliffe scythe through the Dale defence and it took an excellent tackle to stop him short of the line. Quick ball from the ruck allowed Kurt Sutcliffe to give a little offload to Ryan Mudd who found space and strolled over for the opening score. Kurt Sutcliffe added the conversion and Rish had got off to the best possible start.
Dale were well controlled by fly half and club legend Jonathan Davis, who pinned us back with long kicks out of hand, assisted by Rish who continued to infringe and give away pointless penalties. One such penalty, again for offside, allowed Dale to get on the scoresheet with an easy kick from in front of the posts.
Rishies pack were more than holding their own in the scrum, and when we opted for a scrum penalty inside Dales 22, the ball was whipped out to Kurt Sutcliffe who managed to battle through a couple of tackles for the try, and then make the conversion. Wharfedale went down to 14 men from a yellow card but Rish couldn't make the advantage count for the last 5 minutes of the half.
The second half started a bit scrappy and became feisty resulting in a yellow card for Rish. Dale continued to drive forward but resolute defence managed to keep them out, but sustained pressure close to line saw them cross but were held up. Dales pack were finding some forward momentum and eventually their efforts were rewarded with a try under the posts, but fortunately for Rish the easy conversion went under the crossbar. 14-8.
Rishies continued to get penalised for needless penalties, in to the twenties by now, so the referee binned another one of our guys. With time marching on, ironically, Dale were penalised in front of their posts and Kurt Sutcliffe slotted over the kick. With Dale needing to score twice, Rish managed to play out the final minutes for a well deserved fifth win on the trot, 17-8.
Both teams played excellent rugby in very harsh conditions, but Rish can't blame the weather, or the referee, for the ridiculous amount of silly, needless penalties given away, but fortunately Wharfedale didn't punish us for our indiscipline. On a more positive note, the defence throughout the entire team was epic, as usual, and our attacking play caused plenty of problems for their defence.
Next week is a new experience for us as we are at Keighley on the RFU 3G AGP pitch. Thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Richard Turner (Cogs) who sustained a badly broken arm during the match. Also to Jamie Ramsey who has apparently broken his hand.
Tries: Mudd, Kurt Sutcliffe
Cons: Kurt Sutcliffe 2 and 1 pen
|1. R Turner||2. K Hattam||3. R Mudd T|
|6. L Illingworth||7. L Illingworth|
|4. J McHugh||5. A Bell|
|8. W Bowers|
|9. W McDonnell|
|10. K Sutcliffe T C2 P|
|13. O Marshall|
|11. L Phillips||14. W Illingworth|
|15. L Atkinson|
|Subs||J Ramsay||T Muscat-Baron||T Jowle E Pollard||W Aldridge|
Rishworthians v Wharfedale.
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