Richmond prove they belong in second tier
YORKSHIRE Carnegie travelled south looking to banish the ghosts of the Athletic Ground having lost to London Scottish on the opening day of the season, but resurgent Richmond, riding high after consecutive wins against Jersey and Rotherham, were not to be beaten.
To the delight of head coach Steve Hill they claimed a try-bonus point to prove they are now a team to be reckoned with.
Hill said: “This is the biggest win that Richmond have had in my eight seasons here. Carnegie are a very strong outfit so for us to beat them and get a bonus point in the process is fantastic for the work the boys have done.”
Richmond found themselves in the familiar position of siege mode from the off, but as has been their way, gritty defence saw them exit with the scoreboard unblemished.
Carnegie continued to press but a defensive read from Luc Jones forced an intercept and Jono Woodward raced clear to score the opener for Richmond.
Carnegie endured an injury-disrupted first half losing their half back axis of Callum Irvine and Alex Davies. They regrouped and continued to try and play an expansive game with a beautiful line from Jack Whetton setting up a break which led to George Watkins wriggling over in the left corner.
A forgettable ten minutes followed until deft Richmond hands created enough front foot momentum for Jones to snipe over. Kirby added his second conversion to make it 14-5.
Yorkshire were looking forlorn but they caught the home side napping, breaking down the left then whipping it right to grubber through for second row Dan Sanderson to score.
Richmond responded immediately with a converted try from loosehead Jeremy Cunnew as they entered the break 21-10 up.
Yorkshire came out firing and Chris Elder streaked down the right wing to narrow the deficit. Injuries had robbed Carnegie of their goal kickers and they missed the conversion and failed to register a single penalty.
Kirby added three points for Richmond and repeated penalties saw them turn the screw. Carnegie defended valiantly but Richmond captain Will Warden crashed over on the right wing to claim the bonus.
Late indiscipline saw Richmond reduced to 13 with Warden and Jake Parker binned for team offending and Andrew Forsyth for Carnegie, who eventually capitalised through Mike Myerscough.
Carnegie coach Dave Baldwin said: “We took a while to get into the game, fell off our tackles and gave away a couple of scores.”
Yellow: Will Warden