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Scrooke-like North Ribblesdale win all the plaudits for stirking to a plan
Old Brodleians 3, North Ribblesdale 14
Discipline and adherence to a game-plan has not been Ribb’s forte in this maddeningly inconsistent SSE Yorkshire Division One season.
However, sides who Ribb have dominated and then gifted a win and sides who have rolled them over would, like a lot of visiting supporters, have been amazed at the determination shown on Saturday to stick rigidly to a plan.
Brods is a graveyard for a lot of team’s hopes and, with a strong wind down the hill, it is normally a nailed-on win for the home side.
And this likelihood is doubled when they win the toss and play up the hill.
But Ribb came through this match with only one or two moments of discomfort, and the win was a fitting tribute to coach Hayden Viles in one of his last competitive games.
Ribb started off down the hill and were soon in the Brods 22. But this is par for the course, and Brods are used to it as they mreley wait for the second half.
What they are not used to is being shunted about in the scrum, which Ribb did from the start.
So unsettled were they that prop Tipiloma Kivalu displayed an im-pressive combination of right hooks and left crosses on the unfortunate Matt Speres.
It did no good, though. Ribb got a pushover try and should have had a penalty try and another pushover try.
Ribb played very well downhill with little reward and the half-time score was 7-0, with the slope and wind against in the second half to come.
They had been very disciplined, playing close to the pack most of the time but moving good-quality ball wide.
The only blemish was a serious rib injury to Russ Ingham, who may be out for a while.
Constant Broads pressure epitomised Ribb’s spirit. Brods turned over the ball, and moved right very quickly, and equally quickly they won the ball and came left. Ribb conceded the penalty which Dan Cole put in the corner.
They drove from the line-out and only a very cohesive defence kept them out.
Brods drove and drove at the Ribb line but a magnificent defence didn’t buckle.
At half-time, Ribb were a meagre-looking converted try ahead, and the home supporters were looking forward to a familiar runaway win down the hill.
But it just didn’t happen as Ribb took an even tighter grip on the scrum and squeezed the life out of Brods.
The hosts had an early second-half chance when Cole engineered an extra man.
Eddie Carter drew the full back and Danny Wood looked in but Mick Carr came out of nowhere to smother him as he was looking where to put the ball down, and Brods never looked dangerous again.
Ribb drove their set-piece ball and then drove off the ruck. Brods simply could not get possession, and their crowd went very quiet.
The visitors were now dominating the loose ball, and kept it for long periods.
Ribb put the match to bed when a break by Simon Bolland, off a superb inside pass from Ethan Henare, gave Ribb position in the Brods half.
The ball was moved left and then right, and Jonathan Richards just missed scoring but Nathan Dakin did put the ball down.
Steve Moon added the conversion to his earlier conversion of Carr’s try.
This was a very satisfying win for Ribb, thanks to their disciplined adherence to a game-plan.
The defence was very solid, with Angus Carr again showing up well, while Josh McFarlane at full back was a rock under the difficut, swirling ball and in the tackle.
However, it was a real team effort and all of the visitors played very well in very difficult conditions.
If Ribb show this determination and cohesion, they do not need to worry about anyone.
However, there can be no complacency as the second team won a difficult game at Wharfedale and there are a number prssing for a first-team place.
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