Ripon Hornblowers v Northallerton (Away)
By Jay Chester-Bristow
A good combination of youth and experience
Following The Hornblowers Kick off the 2 sides measured each other up in the close for the first few minutes of the game , with Ripon gaining the first upper hand resulting in Nick Perez crashing through for the first score. From the restart Northallerton pushed Ripon back close to the 5 metre line where the ball got turned over giving Matt Binks the chance to show his pace, running almost the full length of the pitch to score below the posts.
Northallerton kept it tight with phase after phase by the forwards, pushing against Ripons defence, eventually breaking through to score. This set the tone of Northallertons tactics for the rest of the match. They continued to crash through scoring a second, leaving Ripon to live on scraps until after a few phases of play Ripon managed to get the ball wide to Evan Rees who broke through the defensive line to score Ripons third. Not content with this Rees broke through again on the far side of the pitch, this time chipping the ball on for Matt Binks to collect and take his second try. History repeated itself fairly quickly only this time collecting his own chip to once again cross the line.
Northallerton continued the same tactics but also used their kicking game wisely, when Ripons defence moved up, kicking over. Following a line out they used a driving maul to push over the line. Ripon pushed back into Northallertons 22 from a kick and the resulting line out didn't go to plan, leaving a gap for Henry Way to score. This took the score to 19-40 at half time.
The second half started in much the same way with Northallerton scoring twice in quick succession. Sterling defence around the ruck forced an error by Northallerton giving Ripon their next try and Evan Rees his hat trick.
Not content to give up Northallerton continued with their tried and tested tactic of keeping it close and it paid off again. A reshuffle of the pack positioning saw a monstrous front row of Ashley Plant, Will Champion and Simon Rudsdale enabling Ripons scrum to force Northallerton backwards, allowing the backs to pass it through the hands so that Evan Rees scored his forth of the game. Ripon Continued to put the pressure on Northallerton in the scrum and passing out to the backs, this gave Henry Way an opportunity to end the game with a second try. The final score was 36-57 to Ripon Hornblowers.
Ripons use of a combination of youth and experience is starting to bear fruit and will continue to develop young players that will lead to the longevity of the club.