Ripon 23Pts North Ribblesdale 11Pts
Poor display sees Ribblesdale lose to lowly Ripon.
Report by Andrew Mills.
A POOR display saw North Ribblesdale lose 23-11 at Ripon, a team who are second-from-bottom in the league.
Ribb were bereft of ideas and vigour, they let Ripon outmuscle them in the backs and played a kicking tactical game which seemed suited to the Ripon back three.
For the whole match, Ribb were shaky under the high ball and in wide defence.
The only plus points were Ribb's dogged defence in their own 22 and their display in the tight, although the back row were outplayed by the opposition.
Ripon kicked off, Ribb lost the ball and Ripon kept it for five minutes, then moved it to their left wing who brushed off two weak tackles to score wide on the left.
Ribb secured the kick-off and took play into the Ripon half, a blindside break saw Omari Kaup-Samuels over out wide to make it 5-5 after 15 minutes. However, Ribb continued to kick the ball away so their advantage in the tight was nullified.
A weak kick allowed Ripon to break on the right and score another unconverted try.
Ribb then had their best period of the game, forcing Ripon to concede a penalty kicked by Mick Thwaite to make it 10-8.
The visitors secured the kick-off and Adam Middleton gave Ribb a platform in Ripon's 22. They scored a penalty to creep into the lead 11-10, which they held until half-time.
It took Ripon five minutes to get ahead in the second half, Ribb giving away a penalty for off-side.
From the kick-off, Ripon moved the ball wide, their right winger drove into the 22 and their pack battered away at the Ribb line but the defence held.
Ribb strayed off-side and Ripon dropped a goal while advantage was being played and they led 16-11.
Ripon had now worked it out. They put the ball behind the Ribb backline and waited for error, a high kick was dropped, the ball hacked on and Ripon won the race for the touchdown, which was converted.
In the last 10 minutes, heads went down and Ribb were lucky not to concede more tries.
This was a poor result based on a flawed game plan of kicking the ball away. Ribb's points of penetration are in the forwards and in the centre, but their game plan took both out of the game.
They have plenty of speed but a kicking game is only as good as the chase.
This was a winnable game against a side low in confidence, but they played a game that suited the opposition far better than the visitors.