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Wrong side of the scoreline for Richmond

Lichfield 53 – 7 Richmond

Last Updated: Sep 12, 2016 07:41pm
North Richmond, Richmond upon Thames London Boro
By Sian Hobday
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Lichfield 53 – Richmond 7

Sunday’s game saw a new look Richmond 1st team take to the field against Lichfield, in their first game of the Premiership under new head coach Brett Taylor. 

Eager spectators were keen to see the current premiership champions in action once again and play an exciting brand of rugby against a strong forward pack from the players in red and green. But a nervy start from Richmond saw them give away several penalties within the first ten minutes, allowing Lichfield to gain an early 5-0 lead. Richmond soon picked up the pace and both teams were evenly matched in the early stages. 

Great runs from Emma Croker and Libby Povey took Richmond into Lichfield’s twenty-two. Several strong forward plays then pushed them over the try line, but unluckily the ball was held up. Another penalty let Lichfield off the hook and allowed them to kick out of their danger zone. 

A kick and chase, followed by another grubber kick then took Lichfield all the way into Richmond’s half. They soon scored their second try, making it 0-10 half an hour in.

The match returned to centre field, but an impressive interception by Alicia McComish, coupled with two penalties this time in Richmond’s favour, took them into Lichfield’s twenty-two. Lichfield then received a yellow card for coming in at the side, putting Richmond in a great position to score, until another penalty knocked them away from the line. 

Just before the whistle blew for half-time, Lichfield showed the pace of their backs and scored under the posts. A successful conversion brought the score to 0-17.

Richmond came out in the second half hungry for the ball. Centre Becky Ball made a devastating line break in the midfield and offloaded to Libby Povey in support, who handed off several defenders in her path to the try line. Alicia McComish impressively converted the try right from the edge of the pitch, making it 7-17.

As the game wore on, it was clear Richmond’s lack of subs began to take its toll. With five sets of fresh legs available to them, Lichfield soon scored two tries in quick succession. The injury of Povey then furthered this problem, as it left Richmond with only fourteen players on the field. Lichfield used this to their advantage, and so scored another three tries. 7-46

Despite their understandable fatigue, Richmond battled valiantly onwards until the end, with several strong runs and impressive back play. Another injury set them back just in time for Lichfield to score one last try, right under the posts. The final whistle blew: 7-53.

Whilst they were the wrong side of the scoreline on this occasion, the grit and determination showed by players, four of whom were making their premiership debuts, was outstanding. Notable performances came from Sam McCarthy and Emma Croker in the forwards and former Ireland international Lynne Cantwell who constantly threatened the gain line at fly-half. 

Head coach Brett Taylor said: “I am hugely proud of the effort and commitment from all of the Richmond players today. They fought hard against a good Lichfield side with a strong pack. Lichfield were worthy winners but as a squad, a team and a club that is rebuilding we can take so many positives from our performance. We know what we need to do and the level of performance we can achieve, 

 

“For us, it’s great to see players returning from injury and those that have stepped up from the 2nd team to make their premiership debuts and the underlying memory of my first premiership game is seeing 3 Richmond teams playing when many thought we wouldn't be able to do it."

 

Next up, Richmond faced Worcester Valkyries at home and will be hoping to build on the positives from their opening game. 

Richmond Ladies: Tamsin Barber, Lara Gibson (Fran Matthews, 40), Alicia McComish, Rebecca Ball, Katie Wallis, Lynne Cantwell, Jade Wong, Anna Butler, Emma Croker (Chevvy Horner, 50), Emily Scott, Rowena Burnfield, Sian Hobday, Libby Povey, Fran Hall, Sam McCarthy

Tries:  Povey

Conversions: McComish

Lichfield Ladies: Charlotte Pearce, Rachael Squires (Tash Jones, 40), Jordan Bixley (Lucy Nye, 40), Hannah Phillip, Charlotte Murray, Carys Williams, Jess Robinson, Justine Lucas (Amy Cokayne, 40), Rebecca Noon, Catherine Pugh (Kayleigh Searcy, 47), Molly Morrissey (Emily Hughes, 40), Emily Braund, Laura Hind, Katie Trevarthen, Harriet Millar-Mills

Tries: Morrissey, Braund, Pearce, Cokayne, Murray (3), Williams, Millar-Mills

Conversions: Phillip, Cokayne (3)


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