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Flip side to North Ribb's tactics
Buy this photo » Ryab Kirkbride scores for North Ribblesdale
North Ribblesdale 20 Barnsley 24
North Ribblesdale were left reflecting on what might have been after slipping to a narrow defeat against newly-promoted Barnsley.
The home side generated a lot of pressure without making it count and the visitors must have been mighty relieved to reach half-time ahead after spending much of the first 40 minutes in their own half.
Perhaps Ribb need to rethink or fine tune their tactics. In this match their goal-kicking and high-risk off-loading play were major contributory factors in their loss.
The desire to keep the ball alive is alien to the team and it gifted Barnsley possession repeatedly, even when they had crossed the advantage line.
The problem was exacerbated by the split pack, four doing the work and four standing in the backline. This led to the ball being taken in and once the tackle was made the ball was flicked off the ground and either knocked on or off-loaded again.
On many occasions it left just one player outnumbered and as no ruck was formed Barnsley simply stepped over and picked the ball up.
It was crying out for the entire Ribb eight to drive the ball in repeatedly until they had sucked in defenders. Then they would have had a platform to release the backs.
It’s no coincidence that Ryan Kirkbride’s try came from a line-out when all the forwards were involved.