Richmond claim bonus point win
11:41am Monday 12th November 2012 in Richmond
After an improved second half performance, Richmond claimed a full five points from first time visitors Tynedale to take seventh position in National One after eleven games.
The Northumberland side competed strongly in the first half to leave the game balanced 17-17, but the Londoners were able to pull away in the second half following another strong performance from the forwards.
Richmond made just two changes from the previous week, both as a result of availability. Luke Cousins, playing his ninety-seventh first team game, returned at fly half and Jamie Gibbs replaced Robbie Shaw, who was away playing for the US Eagles.
Richmond did not get off to the start they wanted, when they failed, not for the first time, to take the ball at the kick off and Tynedale were able to put them under immediate pressure as a result.
The game was still in the first minute when scrum half Harry Peck slid a neat grubber between two defenders and was first to claim the touch down by the posts. Matthew Outson added the conversion.
Richmond responded well from the kick off before a good move was spoiled by a knock on.
But the momentum was maintained when the visitors cleared into full back Peter Clarke’s arms and some neat interpassing set up Tom Gregory for a half break before he freed his arms to send Clarke, on his shoulder, in for a simple try converted by the sure footed Cousins, who had a faultless day with his kicking.
However, once again, Richmond immediately undid their good work by carelessly going offside at the kick off and Outson kicked his side back into a 7-10 lead.
The visitors looked confident at this stage whilst their opponents made too many basic errors, allowing Tynedale to establish early territorial advantage.
Only a wonderful cover tackle, which looked to be by Adam Gadsby, prevented another try for the visitors.
After eighteen minutes, Richmond finally strung together a cohesive move, Cousins passing deftly to give winger James Kyle a run down the touchline. From the line out, flanker Gareth Bansor retrieved a loose ball and his pack drove forcefully to the line for Jason Phipps to get the touch down.
In a topsy turvy first half, punctuated by too many mistakes by both sides, the lead soon changed hands again. Richmond lost possession in another attack and Tynedale took full advantage to set up a scrum deep in the home 22.
The visitors retained possession well by contrast and when the ball was sent down the line, hooker George McGuigan too easily burst a tackle to power over, Outson converting for a 14-17 lead.
Just before half time Cousins equalised the score with a penalty to leave the game poised at 17-17.
Stern words will have been exchanged during the break and Richmond looked in better control in the second half as the forwards began to impose a tighter and more direct grip on the game.
When Cousins kicked for the corner in the third minute, the pack drove forward commandingly and when the ball was fed down the line the opposition number eight, Oliver Steadman intercepted from a long way offside and was given a yellow card.
The home side took immediate advantage, driving emphatically from the line out for hooker Phipps to claim his fifth try of the season.
Number eight JP Attlee was now increasingly influential, perfectly timing his runs from deep to break the first line of defence.
Peter Clarke was also in good form, his running and kicking providing useful impetus from the back.
Richmond looked in much better fettle and Will Browne was just tackled into touch in the corner.
This time continuity was maintained and soon afterwards, the power of the front five once again proved crucial as the impressive Karl Outen claimed his first club try, smashing his way over from a set scrum.
With the score 31-17 and the try bonus point achieved, Richmond looked much more fluent and the fifth try followed in the twenty-first minute.
Once again the attack stemmed from the line out and the dominant Attlee broke powerfully at the tail to find Bansor on his shoulder.
The flanker neatly stepped inside the last defender to dive over for his own first club try.
The lesson of this league is that no game is won till the final whistle. Poor home defence then allowed the elusive Peter Cole to cut a good angle to the posts, when he looked completely hemmed in.
For a minute or two, nerves jangled but another well struck Cousins penalty restored calm and the final visitors’ try by Alex Fieldhouse, from a typical end of game counter attack, was too late to make real difference.
The visitors deserved their point for the fourth try whilst Richmond will be delighted with five points but keen to reduce the error count in the coming weeks.
Tom George was given the man of the match award for another hardworking performance at blind side flanker.