With four key players from Skipton's back line out through injury and unavailability, plus two forwards, their depleted squad were always going to have a tough game at an in-form Rotherham Phoenix in Counties Three Yorkshire on Saturday.

They came back to within one try of Phoenix in the last quarter, playing some excellent fluent lines, but a muddle over the "open play" law over the goal line gave a soft try to Phoenix to seal the game with a final score of 29-17 to the home side.

Rotherham got off to a good start putting two penalties into the corner and going over with a rolling maul from the line-out for an early unconverted try.

This was compounded with a stolen ball from the ruck, with Skipton in possession and going forward, to give a second unconverted try.

Each side received a yellow card for a fracas in the next phase of play. Phoenix were awarded the penalty and were over for a third try, again unconverted.

Skipton did not let these set-backs deter them and began to play more structured rugby.

A chip through and chase by stand-off Hamish Munro from a great counter attack saw him touch down for Skipton's opening try, winger Jonny Tomes-Green adding the extras.

Ed Harrison came off the bench to join the Skipton pack and a penalty to his side for a Phoenix infringement on the ground saw Tomes-Green narrow the gap by another three points.

Skipton forward Joe Moorhouse then received a yellow card and Rotherham used the advantage to run in a fourth unconverted try from a penalty close-in just before half-time.

A good opening phase by Skipton in the second-half was ended by an interception from Phoenix.

Skipton then made two changes through injury, with Jake Emmison replacing Jonathan Edwards in the back line and Will Havers-Strong replacing Tom Allsop in the forwards.

Great play saw Skipton running on to the ball and when Rotherham collected a second yellow card, the visitors maintained the pressure.

No.8 Joe Hayes went over for their second try under the posts and Tomes-Green added the extras to leave his side just five points adrift at 22-17. 

Phoenix came back strongly from the restart, getting to Skipton's line quickly.

It was there where a misunderstanding of the "open play" law over the goal line saw a Phoenix player run around the ruck and place his hand on the ball for a soft converted try to seal the game.

Skipton put Rotherham under pressure immediately from the restart but time ran out and Phoenix came away winners at 29-17.