Skipper's wise words work wonders

IPSWICH Rhinos coach Andrew Skipper called for total concentration in the first quarter from a much-changed Rhinos side due to injuries and representative game call-ups resulted in a 44-22 Rugby League Conference Premier Division South victory over Kent Ravens.

IPSWICH Rhinos coach Andrew Skipper called for total concentration in the first quarter from a much-changed Rhinos side due to injuries and representative game call-ups resulted in a 44-22 Rugby League Conference Premier Division South victory over Kent Ravens.

This was because in their previous three matches they had given away match-winning margins in the first 20 minutes.

He was rewarded with a five try to nil lead by the 26th minute. However, failure to hit conversions allowed a plucky Ravens side to pull the score back to 22-18 before the Rhinos' greater physical presence allowed them to complete a comfortable victory.

Paul LeMarquand opened the scoring on three minutes after a break by Mike Fields ended at the foot of the posts, the ball being spun wide right to LeMarquand to touch down. Minutes later a powerful run from Brendan Cook needed four defenders to stop him , but not before he off-loaded to Shaun Elbrow to score in the corner on an impressive debut.


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Ben Louisson slipped his tacklers on 11 minutes to run 40 metres to the Ravens line where he was held up. A fluent passing ended with Emoshi Biudule forcing his way over the line to make it 12-0.

Two quick tries by Richard Burton, so often the unsung hero of the Rhinos side, following breaks from 40 metres out and 30 metres out moved the score onto 22-0 on 26 minutes.

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Kent had passed up several scoring opportunities themselves by not using men on the overlap, or with a poor final ball, so it was not a surprise when Steve McClarron forced his way over the line and Stone broke through to score under the Ipswich posts to give a half time score of 22-12.

Inspired by those tries Kent resumed fired up and when Ipswich dropped the ball Digby was prevented from scoring by a last-ditch tackle from Mayhew, but not before he could off-load to Dan Smart to touch down. Tom Claridge converted all Kent's tries and it was 22-18.

Ipswich finished strongly as first Jason Hatcher then Dave Murrell battled their way over the line from 30 metres. Collier and Catchpole man of the match, Brendan Cook was rewarded for his tireless support play when Louisson was held close to the line and Cook forced his way over. Then Paul LeMarquand picked his way through a crowed Ravens defence to score from 30 metres.

Sal Gasmi scored a consolation try for the Ravens when he broke from behind the scrum to run round the Ipswich defence and score under the posts but in the dying minutes it was cancelled out when Shaun Elbrow was scored after a fine passing move to complete the scoring.

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