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Richmond Beat Local Rivals Wasps

Richmond Women earn a place in the Cup final

Last Updated: Apr 6, 2016 08:21am
North Richmond, Richmond upon Thames London Boro
By Sian Hobday
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The Richmond Women’s team earned themselves a spot in the Senior Cup final by beating local London rivals Wasps on Sunday in a sunny semi-final, 24 – 3. 

The conditions were perfect for an afternoon of running rugby and it was Richmond who drew first blood through direct running and strong carries. After a missed kick to touch, it looked like Richmond handed Wasps an early opportunity to attack but the red, black and gold team managed to turn the ball back over. Hooker Davinia Monteiro got her hands on the ball and twisted and turned her way over the line for the try. The conversion from Abi Chamberlain was good and gave Richmond a 7-0 head start.  

Both teams looked to unleash their runners and punched holes in the defensive lines.  Centre Vic Britland sliced through the mid-field with a well timed run off number 8 Fi Fletcher who picked off the base of the scrum. Putting Richmond on the front foot and deep in Wasps territory, the forwards took charge and after a series of pick and go’s it looked like they bundled their way over the line but were just held up.  

The forwards then earned their reward from the resulting scrum when Fletcher picked and dived over the line to score, making the score 12-0. 

It was then Wasps turn to build the phases as they tried to suck in the Richmond backline to create the overlap. They got half a gap and their pacey winger almost went through but a foot in touch called play back.  

They didn’t leave Richmond’s half empty handed though when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, which they kicked to put 3 points on the board.  

The Richmond forwards then want a second bite at the try line when a powerful run from Claire Phelps broke the gain line and set up another run of pick and go’s. Once again Richmond were held up over the line thanks to some solid Wasps defence.  

The scrum proved a powerful attacking platform once again and repeat infringements from Wasps saw them concede a penalty try. Chamberlain sent the ball sailing through the posts to extend Richmond’s lead to 19-3.  

Despite a thrilling end to the first half when Phelps charged down a kick on the Wasps try line and almost got a hand to it to touch down, the score remained 19-3 at the break.  

In the second half, errors began to creep in to Richmond’s game. They were still able to make clean breaks and make some impressive offloads out of contact but the final pass let them down and broke the run of play.  

As they began to concede penalties, momentum and possession swung in Wasps’ favour. But Wasps were unable to capitalise and missed a chance of another 3 points.  

They attacked strongly in the last quarter of the game, with their speedy winger causing problems by evading four or five tacklers each time she was given space to run. Only some last ditch scrambling defence managed to stop her in her tracks.  

It was scrum half Leanne Riley who had the final say of the game by taking a quick tap penalty and wriggling her way over the line for the final try. The final score was 24-3.

In a repeat of the Premiership final, Richmond now face Saracens in the final of the Cup on April 23rd. The match will be played at a neutral venue TBC.

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