WOODHOUSE GIANTS DEVELOPMENT XV 54-33 RIPLEY RHINOS 1st XV
Rhinos played their first game in October and lost out in a hugely enjoyable match by 54-33 to Mansfield Woodhouse
Ripley skipper Will Evans took a much-changed side for the trip to Mansfield Woodhouse to play Woodhouse Giants Development side. The visitors were already short of numbers and late pull-outs left them in dire straits until their generous hosts stepped in and ensured the maroons only started one player short.
Buoyed by this, and the fact the borrowed players were all young which dovetailed with the experienced squad Rhinos put out, Ripley started brightly. An early break from centre Chris Sheriff drew in the defensive cover and his pass found second row Ben Heanue arriving at pace and he showed his pursuers a clean pair of heels to the line, not bad for a 62 year old. Evans converted and Rhinos had the lead.
The set piece was an eagerly contested affair. Scrums were tight with the Ripley front row of Craig Culshaw, hooker Dave Arrowsmith and Billy Waring having a tight battle throughout against their hosts equally adept front three. The lineout was also a well-fought battle with Rhino flanker Zeique Robinson excelling. All of this gave stand-in scrum half Dave Trubee a chance to get the ball away though his hands were too slow at time to make the most of the possession his pack had earned.
A second Ripley try came from a breakaway, being adeptly finished by winger Tony Ratcliffe, Evans again converting. Woodhouse were stung by this and began to put their disjointed start behind them as they used their pace and handling to cut a hole in the visitor defence and score.
A third Rhino try came on the half hour when full back Craig Worboys used his pace and fast feet to create a gap in the home side defence and power through it to touch down, Evans making it three from three conversions.
The home team’s stronger fitness then told in the run up to half time as they scored three converted tries to go into the interval 28-21 ahead.
The captain’s half-time talk focussed on more of the same. Alas Ripley leaked a soft try almost from the kick off to put them behind the game. A further Giants score had them under pressure as the home team had the majority of territory in the second half.
The maroons still had scores in them. Firstly a series of pick and drives near the posts took Ripley close, second row Mike Symons cleared good ball at the ruck and Robinsons fed Evans to dummy and score. Secondly the pack won the ball well at the scrum, Trubee was under pressure from his opposite number and was delighted to shovel a short pass to Worboys who cut a perfect line back inside to speed away and score from the halfway line. Calum Sheriff slotted the conversion for this one.
The home team had the final scores as they finished off 54-33 winners in a hugely enjoyable contest, very well refereed by the Society-provided Andrew Russell-Webster.
As this was Ripley’s first game in October, they could take nothing but positives from it. The home side were excellent in their aid in getting the game on but the maroon players also played their hearts out and fittingly Ben Heanue took the BAB Plumbing & Heating man of the match award from his team mates.
Rhinos will continue their training; Monday evenings at the Pulse Gym for fitness and Thursday evenings at the Ripley Academy for skills. All adult players of any ability or experience are welcome; for more details ring 07816 779018 or email email@example.com