KNIGHTS DESERVEDLY TAKE DERBY HONOURS
by Andy Coldrick
Bramley Buffaloes 12 (0) v Kippax Knights 17 (14)
In front of a bumper Friday night crowd at Stanningley, Kippax Knights deservedly took the honours in a hard fought by error strewn game against Bramley Buffaloes. Leading 0-14 at the break the Knights held off the Buffaloes late charge to become the first team since Warrington Wizards in August 2008 to win at Stanningley.
Both teams had minor changes from the weekend, the Buffaloes welcomed back Andy McGann for his first full start of the season after recovering from injury, Matthew Booth replaced then injured Jon Nicholls and Paul Gledhill was again on the bench. Kippax made some positional changes with Andy Tillett moving from the centre to stand off, Chris Redfearn in turn moved to scrum half whilst Gav Adkin moved to hooker, otherwise both teams had decent sides out.
Kippax put points on the board within the opening minutes thanks to some poor Buffaloes play. Firstly a needless scrum was conceded by Bramley with Kippax head and ball, from which a then needless penalty was conceded on the last tackle to give Kippax an excellent attacking position 10m out. They needed no second invitation as livewire Gav Adkin dived over for a try from close range and added the conversion himself. Good work followed from the Kippax forwards who made good metres going forward, particular mention to Craig Jones who had a couple of excellent drives. Further Buffaloes ill discipline saw Adkin add a penalty on 10 minutes. The Buffaloes forwards struggled to make an impression on some solid Knights defence, in an effort to create an opening Tony Williams chipped over the Kippax defensive line, unfortunately he did not get enough elevation on his chip and Adkin gratefully caught the ball and raced 50m to touch down in the left hand corner. Adkins touchline conversion came back off the post. This try visibly lifted Kippax and they produced more enterprising play on the back of a repeat set and further penalties. Despite ill discipline, poor ball control and decision making, the Buffaloes prevented any further scores as they sought to weather the Knights play. On 31 minutes Redfearn was sin binned for Kippax after an altercation; however this did not prevent them from stretching their lead further prior to the break when Tillett kicked an easy penalty after missing an earlier attempt.
The Buffaloes opened the second half in a much more positive mood. Kippax fumbled the kick off and the Buffaloes took their opportunity when Danny Johnson spun over by the posts to reduce the deficit, Drake converted. The noisy crowd added to the atmosphere as they sensed a Buffaloes fight-back. Only excellent cover tackling denied John Richardson a try on 45 minutes, bundling him into touch. Kippax responded through the excellent prompting of Tillett, Redfearn and Adkin and had a try ruled out on 47 minutes for a double movement. The Kippax forwards worked tirelessly all night and they continually got over the advantage line with some strong runs, from one such effort a try went begging as a result of a knock on after 50 minutes. The early Buffaloes momentum seemed dissipate as they looked to force passes and build some pressure. Unfortunately for the Buffaloes they were unable to do so as many of the failings of the first half re-appeared and when they did get into a reasonable position either their attacking kicks were excellently dealt with, or, they gave away needless penalties and allowed Kippax to come off their own line. Andy McGann created a great opening on 60 minutes however his terrific inside pass with the line beckoning wet to ground. Knowles was sin-binned for the Knights shortly afterwards. Kippax showed their composure when under no pressure Adkin coolly slotted over a drop goal on 67 minutes followed by another penalty on 69, 6-17. The Buffaloes though showed why they are hard to beat when they responded with a superb one handed touchdown from winger Richardson who was under all sorts of pressure on 747 minutes. Drake’s effortless touchline conversion closed the gap to just 5 points with as many minutes remaining. That was the last of the scoring though. Bramley sought to create an opening in the final minutes but as so often had happened through out the game, the options they choose were either easily dealt with by the Kippax defence on the ball went to ground.
Kippax were deserved winners, their defence was strong and they were composed in attack. They took their opportunities and limited the Buffaloes in their options. By comparison the Buffaloes were again disappointing coming after an indifferent showing against Nottingham the week before. We seem to lack cohesion, particularly when we have the ball. The defence remains as solid as ever, still probably the best in the league; however as an attacking unit we seem down on confidence, leading to some poor plays and decision making collectively. Whatever we feel about the standards of refereeing or their lack of consistency, another 2:1 penalty count against us is a serious problem, ill discipline is becoming a worrying problem. Clearly there is work to be done by the coaching staff and players, but we must keep this in perspective, it is only one defeat and we did get a bonus point. We are a very good team with excellent players and coaches. The next two games against Warrington and Featherstone may give us a better idea how we are doing. We must stick together and ride this out.
Game star: Any one from Tillett, Redfearn or Adkin.
Game breaker: No one play by either team comes to mind. Kippax played a more conservative game and took their chances, whilst the Buffaloes failed to control the ball and turned possession over too often and gave too many penalties away. We did create some openings but failed to take them.
Bramley Buffaloes: 1. Andy McGann, 2. John Richardson, 3. Matt Mullholland, 4. Dan Caston, 5. Craig Green, 6. Paul Drake, 7. Tony Williams, 8. Danny Mitchell, 9. Richard Hulme, 10. Simon Speight, 11.John Elliker, 12. Danny Johnson, 13. Matthew Booth, Subs: 14. Graham Harrison, 15. Dave Parker, 16. Richard Leese, 17. Paul Gledhill
Tries: Johnson (42), Richardson (74)
Goals: Drake 2/2
Kippax Knights: 1. Chris Hall, 2. Danny Gill, 3. Steve Scott, 4. James Woods, 5. Wayne Little, 6. Andy Tillett, 7. Chris Redfearn, 8. Craig Jones, 9. Gav Adkin, 10. Andy Walter, 11. Chris Knowles, 12. Dave Jessey, 13. Mark Holmes, Subs: 14. Mark Crossfield, 15.Adam Withington, 16. Scott Goodall, 17. Scott Holder.
Tries: Adkin (2 & 17)
Goals: Adkin 3/4 Tillett 1/2
Drop Goal: Adkin
Final score: 12-17
Penalty Count: 9(4) – 18(10)
Referee: Danny Tindall
Sin-Bin: Redfearn (31) & Knowles (63) – both Kippax
Man of the Match:
Bramley Buffaloes: John Elliker
Kippax Knights: Andy Tillett
Next game: Saturday 29 May 2010
Opponents: Warrington Wizards