Mor­ris hails re­silience as 13-man Ex­iles hold the fort

The Rugby Paper - - Championship Cup - By LUKE JARMYN

ON A night when both clubs paid trib­ute to the 162 play­ers lost be­tween them in the Great War, 13-men Scot­tish put up stout de­fence for nearly ten min­utes at the end to claim the spoils.

De­spite lock By­ron Hodge and prop Phil Cringle both spend­ing time in the cooler for side en­try to a maul and re­peated scrum col­lapses in the dy­ing min­utes, Ex­iles gained a morale­boost­ing win.

Scot­tish DoR Dave Mor­ris said: “I’m a forces child and it’s pretty spe­cial how ours and Rich­mond fans have hon­oured the fallen tonight. I’d like to pay trib­ute to Scot­tish’s very fit­ting ser­vice be­fore the game.

“To be down to 13 men, camped on our line, it takes col­lec­tive re­silience to see the game out and the boys showed that.”

Rich­mond felt ag­grieved that a penalty try wasn’t given de­spite their pack dom­i­nat­ing in the Scot­tish 22 at the death. Rich­mond coach Steve Hill said: “We had more than five scrums un­der the posts and the ref­eree awarded at least four penal­ties so you have to ask why it wasn’t a penalty try.

“They were con­stantly be­ing pe­nalised at the scrum and only stopped us go­ing over the line be­cause they were il­le­gal so if not for those ac­tions we’d have scored a try.

“It’s a frus­tra­tion for our pack but Scot­tish did de­fend well at the end.”

On a wet night with a greasy sur­face and ball in hand, the game strug­gled for mo­men­tum but Scot­tish were dom­i­nant in the first quar­ter and un­lucky that a cross-field kick by fly-half Ja­cob Perry was in­ter­cepted by Rich­mond full-back Rob Kirby on five min­utes when look­ing odd-on to score.

A Scot­tish penalty at the scrum led to Kirby get­ting the first points. The Ex­iles lost two li­ne­outs deep in Rich­mond’s ter­ri­tory but fi­nally put a string of 12 phases to­gether be­fore a long pass found cen­tre Richie Ver­non, who took out two de­fend­ers for wing Craig Dun­can to score.

Rich­mond at­tacked be­fore and af­ter the break and Kirby added a sec­ond penalty.

A charge by Scot­tish’s im­pres­sive full-back JoeLuca Smith saw them come within a whisker of scor­ing af­ter nine phases, but de­fen­sive ob­struc­tion saw Perry add three points in­stead.

Nei­ther side looked like scor­ing un­til a late Rich­mond at­tack led by No.9 Luc Jones but scrums saw the game run un­til the 89th minute and 13-man Ex­iles held out.

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