Troubled Ripon issue player plea

facing up to the task: Ripon Rugby
facing up to the task: Ripon Rugby

Ripon RUFC have issued a plea for commitment from club members to help stave off relegation this season.

Troubled Ripon fell to their 13th defeat of the season as West Leeds battled past them 39-28 on Saturday.

But Ripon were only able to muster 17 players for Saturday’s vital league clash.

And, with fellow strugglers Baildon arriving at Mallorie Park this Saturday, the club called on players to rescue their sorry situation next time around.

Head coach Richard Dixon: “We have a little long-standing issue at Ripon that people have a dislike of travelling to away games.

“There’s a culture that you can pick and choose your games. It doesn’t help at all and sadly we don’t have the number where we can lay down the law.

“We’re trying to persuade people they ought to turn up more. It’s a request for a bit of commitment from members.”

Ripon lie second-bottom in Yorkshire Two with only Saturday’s opponents below them. A win on Saturday would help close the eight-point gap on Old Rishworthians, who sit one place above the drop zone.

Following Baildon, Ripon will also host lowly Knottingley, a side they beat 10-9 in October.

Dixon dismissed that the tough season was taking its toll on the squad, but he admitted he was upset with how the season has progressed.

“I haven’t found it hard, I have just found it disappointing,” he added.

“We need to start picking up points now, not next week or next month.

“The next two matches at home are absolutely critical. They are huge games. We have to believe we are up top the task.”

Ripon were let down by a string of unforced errors against West Leeds as they struggled to curb West Leeds’ running game on Saturday.

Ashley Rio scored Ripon’s opening try before captain Adam Scott-Paul put the ball down twice from pushovers.

Scott McAra also added two conversion and two penalties two penalties.

But all West Leeds’ five tries came from counter attacks after either ineffective kicking from Ripon, or simple handling errors. The home side stretched their half-time 17-15 lead, with three late tries as Ripon’s lack of fitness also took its toll.

Dixon added: “To got to West Leeds and score three tries and come away with 28 points, you would usually think, ‘wow that’s good’.

“But we didn’t even leave with a losing bonus point.

“It wasn’t a bad effort but, sadly, we played into the opposition’s hands on too many occasions.”