After another frustrating week of trying to find enough players to field 3 teams, the Development squad travelled to Ripon with a squad of only 16 players. During the course of the game Rish lost 3 players to injury and played the last 20 minutes with 13 players on the pitch.
Ripon began the game at pace and intensity which paid off with a couple of tries within 15 minutes, in which time Rishies prop Mark Illingworth had to be replaced after a shoulder injury. Rishies scrum half continued to play after a knock on the knee but was also eventually forced off and Rish were down to 14 men. Rish were playing well against a well drilled Ripon side but every error that Rish made Ripon seemed to capitalise on and they scored a further 2 tries. With a few minutes of the half to go Rish managed to put together a superb series of offloads culminating with Wez Aldridge going in at the corner.
Ripon opened the restart with another quick try, but then Rish began to impose themselves on the game. A certain try in the corner went begging when the final offload went awry, but then followed a good 10 minutes of Rish possession in the Ripon half. The Ripon defence was up to the task, and then after an hours play Rish lost Ethan Pollard with injuries to both hands. Later to reveal 2 broken fingers on one hand and a chipped bone on the other. Rishworthians were now down to 13 players. With open spaces now all over the pitch Ripon ran in a further 4 tries. However, in and amongst, with only 13 players Rish were playing out of their skin and were rewarded with 2 well taken tries from Ben Copley and Oli Marshall to make the final score 59-15.
From early in the game the odds were stacked against Rish, and things only became worse as the match continued. Dropping to 14 and then 13 players brought out an unimaginable spirit amongst the players, and they have to be applauded for their total commitment.
The Development management team are partly responsible for us only having 16 players, and for future matches will be ruthless in selection to ensure that we have a complement of 20 players so that this situation doesn't happen again.
Tries: Wez Aldridge, Ben Copley, Oli Marshall
|1. M Illingworth||2. L Hilton||3. W Aldridge T ,.|
|6.E Pollard||7. B Rooney|
|4. J McHugh||5. T Muscat-Baron|
|8. J Illingworth|
|9. W McDonnell|
|10. B Copley T|
|12. K Sutcliffe|
|13. O Marshall T|
|11. M Pinto||14. W Illingworth|
|15. J Billing|
Rishworthians v Selby Slideshow.
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