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OTLIENSIANS 1st XV 33 - OLD RISHWORTHIANS 0

Otliensians began their season with a well constructed win at rain swept Chaffers Field, where the excellence of the teams handling and support play belied the dreadful conditions.

From the start the entire pack exerted pressure in all phases of play, winning clean line out, taking a strike against the head and fiercely contesting the ball in the contact areas, particularly in the ruck where they constantly drove their opponents backwards with an increasing sense of intensity as the game unfolded. The stream of quality ball unleashed the rejuvenated back line, whose pace and angles of running stretched the Rishworthians defence for the whole game, forcing them to defend for long periods.

The back row of Duggan, Markus Keinhorst and Arbuckle provided constant pressure on the Rishworthians half backs, and working in conjunction with the inside backs of Kristian Keinhorst, Foster and Shaw forced the Rishworthians defence into numerous errors which were punished with first half tries from Shaw and Hayward.

Only desperate defence from the Rishworthians kept the home side from scoring further tries as the back three of Ratahi, Jon Woods and Hayward created and exploited the spaces with inventive counter attacks throughout the half.

As the second half began the front five of Cook, Lyon, Bonner, Tom Woods and Smith began to dominate their opponents at both the scrums and in open play, with Woods, Smith and Bonner at the forefront producing punishing defence splitting runs throughout the half.

The link between backs and forwards was provided expertly by Birch and Hall, leading to further tries scored by Kristian Keinhorst, Bonner and a 50 metre dash from Arbuckle which took in the sight of two magnificent side steps, the scoring being rounded off with 4 conversions from Foster.

This was an excellent start to the season with all members of the team providing significant contributions, the pressure defence was aggressive and effective, and the handling and support play bode well for the league season as it begins next Saturday with a home fixture against Hessle.

Report supplied by the coach, Gary Walker.

appleyr@bigfoot.com