Rich­mond prove they be­long in sec­ond tier

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King Ipa Championship - ■ By JOE BYRNE

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

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