Rishie's third game of the new season saw the boys finally click into top gear and tear apart a brave and determined West Leeds side. With Rish missing 6 players including both regular halves, and West Leeds having a huge pack of forwards, you could be forgiven for having a few nervous thoughts before Kick off… But these soon dissipated within the first few minutes of the game.
In the early stages the Rishworthians defensive was punishing. With the lads all seemingly fired up their line speed and one on one tackling was perfect. West Leeds were unable to make even the slightest dent in the line and were forced to turn over the ball repeatedly in their own 30m zone.
With new look halves partnership Josh and Leo pulling the strings and breaking through the first line of defence at will the away side went close on several occasions with only desperate defence saving the home team. Rishies breakthrough came soon after with well deserved tries from Kyle and Sam, both showing great speed and strength to find the line. The third came from Jack who was too strong to stop close to the line. Full back Callum, seemingly bored with zero defensive duties to perform, chimed into the attack well grabbing a quickfire double showcasing his slick footwork to push Rishies out to a 5 try lead.
Late in the half, patient winger Rhys, finally managed to get hold of the ball with a bit of space in front of him to race away for a 6th first half try. Rishies finished the half with a defensive flourish completing containing the home side. Impressively the Away sides defence had kept West Leeds inside their own 40 metres for the entire first half, a stat which our coaches must have been especially proud of
The second half saw the Home team come out fired up and saw them really dig in and try to take the game to Rishies. With a great deal more possession and territory they looked more dangerous with ball in hand and really forced the Rishies defence to dig in. The early stages were a hard fought affair with Rishies going away from the tactics that had seen them dominate the first half and struggle to keep possession.
The turning point was a fantastic team try scored by winger Jordan. With Leo playing an increasingly influential role in the halves in the later stages, it was a great run and offload from him that released Jack down the left flank. With the Leeds defence flocking to make the tackle on Jack he popped a lovely short ball to Jordon who raced away, unopposed, the length of the half to score a great try that seemed to dent the spirit of the West Leeds boys. This was followed almost immediately by another long range effort with a second try for Sam who scooped up a loose ball to sprint through untouched to push the score out to 40-0.
West Leeds coaching staff decided to bring on several substitutes which gave an injection of pace into their outfit. With a break down the Rishies right edge Leeds were able to keep hold of the ball through several breakdowns to force themselves over for a well deserved consolation try that was just reward for never giving up on a game that had slipped away in the first half.
The comeback was to be shortlived with Rishies 9th try coming from Alex. One of his best games in a Rishies shirt rewarded with a superbly taken try showing his strength and determination to score to rapturous applause from the teams supporters! Jordan grabbed a second try in similar fashion to the first after impressive makeshift half Josh put a huge one on one shot on a West Leeds forward pinching the ball in the process before stepping through the line and releasing Jack out wide. Jack, facing a single defender, could easily have stampeded through but chose to pull his man and release Jordan for a superbly taken second try. With the game drawing to a close it was absolutely fitting that our second makeshift half, Leo, got his name on the scoresheet with a fleet-footed break beating several tiring West Leeds defenders with a burst of energy that saw him go 25 metres for a superb solo try.
With the last kick of the game an exhausted West Leeds team made the fatal mistake of kicking the ball straight to Jack who took it cleanly and went a full 60 metres down the wing to put the icing on the cake for the travelling teams support. In what was a fantastic show of attacking rugby perhaps the most impressive aspect was the steel and determination shown in defence. It was great to hear the lads afterwards talking about how annoyed they were that they had conceded the single try…and if we can keep up this attitude we could be in for an exciting season ahead!
Tries: K Harrison, S Ogden 2, J Billington 2, C Sutcliffe 2, R Hunt, J Varley 2, L Iribarren, A Gow
|1. K Greenwood||2. F Shields||3. T Blackhall|
|4. W Town||5. K Harrison T|
|8. J Billington T2|
|9. J Beck|
|10. L Iribarren T|
|12. S Ogden T2|
|13. A Gow T|
|11. J Varley T2||14. R Hunt T|
|15. C Sutcliffe T2|
Rishworthians v Doncaster Slideshow.
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