Sundays game at Sheffield was a top of the table clash, and a pre cursor for the Yorkshire Cup semi against the same opponents in March.
Both sides appeared to have fielded decent sides, and for the opening 10 minutes it was all thrust and parry, but then things changed for the worse for Rish. Within the space of 2 minutes we lost Jacob Bower and then Sam Bake to the sin bin, leaving us with 13 players on the pitch. Sheffield failed to capitalise on their numerical superiority, due in total to magnificent defence from the Rish guys. When we finally got back to 15, we then lost Kian Stewart for 10 minutes to undergo an injury assessment.
Both sides were defending well but dropping the ball in contact. Rishies first real attack came from Ben Martin who hit the gap at pace and was on his way to the line only to be stopped by a great tackle by the Sheffield fullback. In the last minute, Stewart, who had returned to the fray, went down the wing but he was also denied by another big hit. Unusual for a Colts game, but at half time it was 0-0.
In the second half Rish began to find more space and freedom to run. Firstly scrum half Will McDonnell made a 30 metre break before a try saving tackle. After more good phases Max Spolverato made good ground before offloading to Oli Marshall, who in turn sent Sam Bake towards the line, and somehow managed to evade tackles to dive over. Jacob Bower made a good conversion.
Both sides were trying to play expansive rugby, and Sheffield nearly fell foul when a long missed pass was almost intercepted by Stewart. Rishies rucking was excellent and when Greg Day turned the ball over, Stewart was on hand to make a jinking run, which Spolverato continued before offloading to Oli Marshall who dived over the line for the second try. Another good kick by Bower made the score 14-0, with about 7 or 8 minutes to go.
Sheffield made attempts to break the Rish defence but another important turnover allowed us to clear upfield. In the final minute, Stewart appeared to be en course to consolidate the win with a 40 metre gallop down the wing, only to be denied by a wonderfully timed tackle which banged him in to touch.
A very tense, eventful match with both sides trying to lay down a marker for the cup game. Hopefully, next time, we will try and keep all 15 players on the pitch for the whole game.
Tries:Sam Bake, Oli Marshall
Conversions: Bower 2
MOTM: Kian Stewarto
|1. L Hilton||2. B Ashton||3. G Day|
|6. M Spolverato||7. J Bower C2|
|4. H Soothill||5. J McHugh|
|8. E Pollard|
|9. W Mc Donnell|
|10. S Bake T|
|12. O Marshall T|
|13. K Stewart|
|11. S Puddephatt||14. W Symms|
|15. A Peron|
|A Khan||W Hilton||B Martin||C Bell|
Rishworthians v Rotherham Slideshow.
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