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Richmond Tame Cheltenham Tigers

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2015 08:17pm
Southam, Tewkesbury
By Sian Hobday
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On a very foggy Sunday afternoon, current Championship South league leaders kicked off the second half of the season against a Cheltenham side who were out for revenge after being defeated back in September. 

 

Undefeated so far this year and coming off the back of a huge win over Thurrock, Richmond knew that they needed to back up that performance with no less then a victory. 

 

Cheltenham, the only other side to beat Thurrock this year, put up a tough fight and didn’t make it easy for the 2s who had a few personal changes due to injury. 

 

Cheltenham conceded penalties early from the start, handing Richmond the advantage. But miss-firing lineouts eased the pressure and allowed Cheltenham to clear their lines to get out of the danger zone. 

 

The Tigers drew first blood when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Despite the poor visibility, they went for the posts and the kick from fullback Emma Mundy was good, giving them an early 3-0 lead. 

 

It was then the Tigers’ turn to make an error at the lineout, which unleashed fly-half Tess Braunerova to use her pace to exploit the out of position defence. But uncharacteristic unforced errors meant Richmond couldn’t quite go all the way to the line. 

 

In a game littered with scrums, Richmond had the upper hand with the ever-powerful front row combination of Captain Ellisha Dee, Lydia and Emily Scott. The Tigers’ front row wasn’t able to withstand the pressure from Dee at tight head and the 2s were awarded a penalty. They attacked the try line but some dogged defence held the ball up over the try line. 

 

Richmond launched their next wave of attack when Jayne Goodliffe fielded a kick and offloaded to Braunerova who made a break. Winger Marloes van Duuren was in support but again the Tiger’s defence was able to soak up the pressure. 

 

Despite dominating territory for the rest of the first half and a break from Sammy Crandell who crashed through the midfield, Richmond were still unable to get points on the board. The referee’s interpretation of the breakdown interrupted the flow of the game and hindered the opportunity for either side to build phases. 

 

Richmond hit the ground running in the second half and immediately made ground through a strong carry by Dee. Some good play from the backs drew the defence right before swinging it left for van Duuren to score in the corner. The conversion from the touch line was missed. 

 

It looked like another try would soon follow when number 8 Lil Knight picked up off the base of a scrum that was marching forwards and turning over the majority of possession, offloading to centre Vick Brittland who then linked up with Libby Povey. But a knock on ended that assault. 

 

The unstoppable try scoring machine that is Ellisha Dee, lead by example when she got her hands on the ball 5m from the try line and dived over to score. Richmond showed great patience and composure to execute the phases. 

 

Cheltenham continued to defend for much of the half but couldn’t stop Crandell who barged her way through oncoming tacklers to score the second try of the game. Goodliffe converted, making the score 19-3.

 

Cheltenham had the final say of the game and earned a losing bonus point through some clean handling down the back line, putting winger Suzie Walker over in the corner. Mundy kicked the conversion, making the final score 19-10. 

 

This was Richmond’s eighth straight victory this season. Due to the Bristol 2nd team folding, as they were unable to field a team consistently, the 2s now have a weekend off but will be cheering on the 1st team who play Bristol 1s on Saturday.

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