Rugby Union: Tim Tomlin backed to star for Ripon in first start at fly half

Ripon 2nds in action on Saturday
Ripon 2nds in action on Saturday
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Tim Tomlin will start at fly-half for a first time since signing for Ripon from Harrogate when the Blues take on Old Grovians on Saturday.

Usual number ten Richard Hooks has been ruled out injured, meaning Tomlin will step into his shoes from inside centre.

Director of rugby Ian Hassall said: “He’s a good communicator. He has got the skills and has a nice boot on him. We haven’t seen too much of it yet but having seen him in training, I am sure he will do well.”

Having won two and lost two of their last four games Ripon will be hoping a trip to a side second from bottom will provide the right platform to bounce back.

Old Grovians have lost all of their last three matches, scoring just 31 points. If results go Ripon’s way they could move up to sixth with a win.

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Ripon 2nds won their first match in four games with victory away at York 3rds 61-40 on Saturday.

With no first team match due to the World Cup Final, the second team took their chance to steal the limelight in an enterttaining fixture.

They could also rely on three members of the first team squad to fill a void left by low availability.

Ripon managed to dominate the scrum and provide good balls from the line-out to the backs.

Last week’s game was completely forgotten as tries from Matt Binks, Davin Jones, Jack Stoddard, Rob Nicholson and two from Elliot Fern along with four conversions from Patrick Whitaker gave Ripon a 40 - 14 lead at half-time.

In the second half, instead of keeping things simple, it seemed that the away team thought they could score from everywhere.

And errors started to emerge as offloads were grounded and rucks were being lost at an alarming rate.

With tackles getting missed, the home side were allowed to score a number of tries of their own.

Injuries mounted up too with captain Andrew Williamson, Jack Burton and Fern all having to be replaced.

However, the scrum was still dominant and Ripon’s Kier Walker managed to give the backs some good balls to work with.

Further tries were scored by Jack Baker, Phil Graham and Patrick Whitaker, which were all converted by Whitaker to leave the final score at 61-40.

Whitaker received the man of the match award for his kicking display.

Ripon’s director of rugby Ian Hassall got a rare opportunity to watch the second string and was impressed by openside Charlie Yates, Fern and Walker.

He said: “It was a good attacking game. The score wil l signify that defence could have been better but it was good to see some of the young lads showing a good account of themselves.”.

The win constituted a morale booster for the squad whcih they will hope to carry into Saturday’s friendly at Leodiensians 2s.