First half display lays platform for success

Rishworthians v Leos. Joe Billing
Rishworthians v Leos. Joe Billing

Old Rishworthians 34 Leodiensians 5

Rishworthians’ first half display was their best Yorkshire Two performance of the season and they notched up their try bonus point before half-time with some scintillating scores.

It was all change in the second half though as the visitors’ pack took charge and the home side found themselves having to defend grimly for long periods.

They did let in one try but hung on and then scored another fine try to kill off any hope their opponents had of turning the game.

They were 10-0 up within 10 minutes of the start and might have had three more scores, but the last pass either went loose or was adjudged forward.

Fullback Matthew Hunt-Brown had an outstanding game with a number of smooth running breaks and No 8 Andy Shickell was a tower of strength in attack and defence.

Both went close before Rishworthians got the opening score. Damian Ball gathered a long clearance kick and put centre Taniela Bakoso away on a long run. He linked with fellow centre Kurt Sutcliffe, who ignored the overlap and cut inside to score. Right wing Joe Billing kicked the conversion and soon after added a penalty.

They got a second try as the ball came out after good work by prop Ryan Mudd. Hunt-Brown burst into the line to put left wing Anthony Shoesmith in for a try in the corner.

Then good interpassing between Ball, Billing and scrum half Gary Morris was finished off by lock Nick Faulkner who burst through a mass of players to touch down. Billing added the conversion.

Rishworthians’ bonus point try just before the break was a beauty. Great work by the forwards set it up with strong drives by Shickell and prop Jioti Bakoso. The ball came wide and Billing, with the pass of the match – a great one-handed offload – put the flying Sutcliffe in for his second try near the corner.

Leos upped their game in the second half, while Rishworthians seemed to go off the boil. They were pinned down on their own line and unable to break out as the visitors kept it in the forwards and eventually forced their way over for an unconverted try.

They then continued to put the home line under pressure and replacement scrum half Liam Phillips took a yellow card for the team as they struggled to keep the visitors out.

One man down they continued to defend grimly with some fine tackles especially by flanker Ben Robinson.

Finally they broke out and forced their way into the visitors’ half. They won a penalty, but took it quickly. Taniela Bakoso made a half-break before finding Hunt-Brown on the burst and he put Shoesmith away to run in and around under the posts for his second try. Billing added the conversion and ended the Leos fightback.

Rishworthians’ second team went down 29 -28 at Keighley. Lee Atkinson and Rhys Town got two tries each and Josh Kelly added four conversions.