Late rally not enough for Rishworthians

Ryan Mudd of Old Rishworthians looks to beat his man
Ryan Mudd of Old Rishworthians looks to beat his man
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Barnsley 20 Old Rishworthians 12

It was a disappointing trip for Rishworthians who were more than a match for their Yorkshire Two opponents in every department except up front.

For the second week running they were completely outplayed in the set scrums, although it was two tries from charged down kicks which really brought their downfall.

On a quagmire of a pitch – it had been doubtful until just before kick-off whether the game could go ahead at all – and with a fierce wind which made kicking a lottery, they opened strongly.

Both sides have to be commended for the way they tried to play rugby in the atrocious conditions.

The visitors dominated play for the first 15 minutes, with centre Kurt Sutcliffe almost getting over and wing Rhys Town being held up in the mud as he tried to get away, until a kick was charged down around halfway and the player was able to run on pick up and touch down for an unconverted try.

It gave the home side new life, and with Rishworthians giving the ball away too many times, they were able to exert pressure.

The visitors defended well until just on half-time when another charged down kick took play close to their line and a forward drive brought a second unconverted try to end the half.

Barnsley kept Rishworthians pinned in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes of the second period until a score became inevitable, with the ball at last being moved away from the forwards for an unconverted try wide out.

Then it was the visitors’ turn to apply the pressure and good play with strong runs by centre Taniela Bakoso, prop Ryan Mudd and lock Fraser Swarbrooke took the play close to the home line.

They gained a penalty and No 8 James Clarke drove for the line before popping the ball up for replacement forward Richard Mudd to crash over for an unconverted try.

Barnsley hit straight back and forward pressure in the scrum allowed them to get near the visitors’ line and then drive over for a fourth unconverted try.

The rest of the game belonged to Rishworthians. Clarke almost got over, then Joe Billing coming in from fullback did, but the referee was unsighted and unable to see him get the ball down.

Rishworthians finally got the score they deserved when Taniela Bakoso, who had an outstanding game, burst through from a penalty only to be stopped just short. However his brother Jioti was on hand to pick up and force his way over. Billing added the conversion – the only successful kick of the day – but it was too little, too late.