This weekend, Richmond faced Saracens, in a top of the table battle, both teams unbeaten, winner takes top spot match. After watching their second team secure six bonus point wins out of six, the pressure was on for Richmond, but they didn’t disappoint. Allianz Park stadium saw some outstanding performances, and even the rain held off in suspense, until the final whistle blew.
The match started with a strong kick, followed by an excellent receipt, immediately preparing the crowd for an exhibition of women’s rugby at its finest.
At first Saracens dominated, quickly claiming territory, but several kicks take Richmond away from their danger zone, and all the way to Saracen’s five-metre line. Then its Saracens turn to send the ball flying back into Richmond’s half.
The first points came fifteen minutes in, when Saracens kick a penalty, making it 0-3.
Richmond retaliated with a series of short runs, which got them ever closer to the posts. The backs then almost scored, but were brought back for a five-metre scrum.
Two minutes later Saracens got a scrum, again on the five-metre line, but Richmond’s immediate pressure forced a third scrum, this time in their favour. The forwards pushed together, and drove over the line, where Rowena Burnfield scored the first try of the match. 5-3
Both teams almost scored again, but strong defensive lines, coupled with several well-timed kicks, meant that the score going into halftime remained at 5-3.
Saracens began the second half with a new burst of energy, and scored within the first few minutes. They took the lead, making the score 5-8.
Richmond came straight back, and reached Saracens’ five-metre line within minutes. It takes another ten for them to score. however, but eventually Tess Forsberg broke through the red and black wall. Jackie Shiels converted, putting Richmond ahead once again. 12-8
For a while that score remains, despite some powerful Richmond drives, and great linking play. Both teams break through into their opposition’s twenty-two, but even after receiving a heavy battering, each defensive line somehow manages to reform and remain resilient, in time to prevent further score.
Saracens score again, and now they lead by just one point. 12-13
Richmond again respond with passion, and after kicking off, soon steal back the ball. A penalty then gains them even more territory, and they reach Saracens’ five-metre line. A lineout sets up the forwards to drive over the line, and Emma Croker grounds the ball. 17-13
With Saracens desperate to score again, it took all of Richmond’s effort to keep their try line safe, but somehow they managed it. Final score: 17-13.
Next week Richmond face Aylesford at home, where they hope to secure another win, and remain at the top of the table.
1 Vic Cornborough 2 Emma Croker vc 3 Laura Kapo 4 Rowena Burnfield 5 Sara Anastasi 6 Beccs Rowe 7 Fi Fletcher 8 Anna Caplice 9 Leanne Riley 10 Amy Turner 11 Holly Myers 12 Jackie Shiels capt 13 Fran Mathews 14 Alicia McComish 15 Abbi Chamberlain 16 Chloe Edwards 17 Zoe Saynor 18 Tess Forsberg 19 Sam McCarthy 20 Kiri Lose 21 Ollie Davies 22 Jade Wong
1.Kerrie-Ann Craddock 2 Geri Thomas 3 Olivia de Merchant 4 Marcella Collins 5 Ellie Gattlin 6 Poppy Cleall 7 Hannah Gallagher 8 Sonia Green (c) 9 Georgia Gulliver 10 April Brown 11 Lotte Clapp 12 Nina Vistisen 13 Lauren Cattell 14 Deb Fleming 15 Charlotte Barras 16 May Campbell 17 Karlee Walters 18 Lauren Newman 19. Becky Roby 20. Laura Dowsett 21. Hannah Casey 22. Carrie Roberts
Report courtesy of Richmond Ladies