Morris hails resilience as 13-man Exiles hold the fort
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.