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North Ribblesdale's loose play is punished
10:49am Thursday 5th April 2012 in North Ribblesdale
North Ribblesdale 6 Keighley 35
Keighley deservedly beat North Ribbles- dale and were of the opinion that they should done so by more points.
Ribblesdale were outgunned up front and if it was not for their obdurate back defence the defeat would have been a lot heavier.
The Ribblesdale back row and Willy Garth also figured in defence, but Ribb have a severe problem in competing for the loose ball.
They do not support the man in possession, there’s far too many of them pretending to defend.
Week after week the same players do the same things with a similar result.
The ability to win and retain possession is crucial for a side which has lost four of its best backs.
Time and again hard won primary possession was lost in contact due to lack of support, three tries were conceded by turnovers in the Ribb 22.
After Dinnington’s win at Knottingley Ribb are in serious danger of relegation.
They threw away the game at home to Dinnington and now need at least a bonus point from the last two games.
On Saturday’s showing drastic changes are needed to achieve this. First of all they need to find a way of securing their own loose ball which will relieve a lot of pressure.
Despite the result on Saturday the personnel are good enough. Dan Watson and Will Davidson went close and David Fox showed good pace and elusive running from full back.
The scrum held up, the basic problem is the lack of competition for the loose ball.
Ribb opened brightly putting Keighley under enough pressure to win two penalties, one after a penetrating run by Rob Hayes.
Both were converted by captain Dan Watson to establish an early advantage.
But promotion-chasing Keighley then took the lead with a try by Lucas Uren which was converted by Alex Brown after 25 minutes.
That advantage was extended five minutes later after a big break by Marco Ferrazzano.
He just managed to stretch out and put the ball over the line despite Ribb’s attempts to check his progress.
Keighley scored their third try early in the second half after a soft surrender of their loose ball let Stuart Inman in. Brown’s third conversion made it 21-6.
Ribb were now under severe pressure and conceded tries at regular intervals as Keighley sought to improve their points difference conceding two more tries to give a final score of 35-6 Ribb have to learn from this game. The odds were against them at the start losing Ryan Kirkbride late in the day, but for them to achieve points from their last two games they will need to play a far more astute game.
It is crucial that they tenaciously contest the loose ball.
Once again the same suspects are hanging about in the backline instead of competing in the engine room.
The personnel are good enough, but there seems little if any leadership in the forwards and they must become a far more cohesive unit.