Captain leading by example to drag Ripon up Yorkshire Two table

Ripon captain Adam Newcombe carries the ball forward against Leodiensian (Photo: Dave Naylor)
Ripon captain Adam Newcombe carries the ball forward against Leodiensian (Photo: Dave Naylor)

Director of rugby Ian Hassall lauded captain Adam Newcombe after the skipper’s whole-hearted performance led Ripon past Leodiensian at the weekend.

Conditions created a forwards battle at Leodiensians as both sets of players found the going tough on a mudbath.

But tries from David Jones and Jake McRobert gave Ripon a low-scoring 14-5 success.

Newcombe stood out in the front row as Ripon ground out a fifth victory in six games to retain sixth place in Yorkshire Division Two.

Necombe is into his second year of captaincy at Mallorie Park and has switched from the back row to hooker to fill a void.

On his captain’s performance, Hassall said: "He must take a big plaudit for his performance. He has taken on a new position and every aspect of his game is improving.

"A lot of work has gone in off the pitch with the players and he is one of the players that has really taken to developing his skills.

"His line-out thrown and ball carrying have been fantastic. He has shown what you can do when you put the work in.

"He is not the most natural captain but he has been learning and seems to have grown into the role again his year. He is giving the right communication out on. That’s what we want from our captain.

"Long may it continue."

Ripon will fancy their chances of adding another win to their wallchart this weekend when heading to Knottingley, another side struggling near the foot of the table.

Ripon stunned the West Yorkshire side in October with a 44-17 rout, their biggest win in two years under Hassall.

Form has been against the second bottom side, too, with only two wins in 15 matches in Yorkshire Division Two this season.

"I expect it to be a very similar game to that one on Saturday," added Hassall.

"They are a side that can upset you and they’re scrapping for everything at the bottom. That makes them a difficult one.

"I think it will be a really close game.

"Every team at the bottom will be battling. We know that from where we were last year."