After a well attended pre season and some serious fitness work under their belts, Ripon U13s were in a confident frame of mind entering their first game of the season. This year sees the introduction of competitive scrums and a near full size pitch which, as the lads found out today, is substantially more testing on the legs and lungs.
With 26 players available, Ripon fielded two balanced teams each playing equal amounts of time against a big Moortown outfit. It was a great example of us adopting the new 'Half game' rule that we now have to adhere to this season.
Starting very strongly with some good flowing backs' moves, Ripon took the lead with a powerful try from Jacob Butterill, but were quickly pegged back as Moortown intercepted some sloppy passing by the Ripon backs. The game was very much in balance with only one try separating the teams throughout. Further tries for Ripon were scored by William Wood, Joseph Alton and Arran Pawley.
As the game progressed Moortown gained in confidence as Ripon struggled with their tackling, failing to secure the ball quickly enough at the breakdown. As the game gradually turned in Moortown's favour, they scored the winning try with their highly elusive scrum half exploiting space down the wing.
The Ripon lads were obviously disappointed with the result but there is plenty of promise and, importantly, a desire to put right the lessons learned today.