Sharp nails late kick to give Scots local pride
A COOLLY-taken penalty kick at the death by Scottish fly-half Jake Sharp saw the Exiles get their second win in a row by the slimmest of margins.
Two tries by winger Matt Williams and scores from outside centre Ross Neal, tighthead Dino Waldren and replacement Matt Holland saw Scottish get their first back-to-back wins since November in a pendulum-like encounter.
Player-coach Sharp said: “We grafted and saved each other’s backs, it’s a massive win for us and for the club.
“We had a lot pressure from losing it at the end five months ago and our setpiece was dominant but our backs weren’t accurate enough, at the end there the forwards got the turnover and set me up with the chance which was lovely.”
Sharp missed from the tee on two minutes but the Exiles took the lead after a five-metre line-out led to several phases across the green before wing Charlie Ingall’s long pass found Williams in the corner.
Four minutes later and a turnover by Richmond blindside Jesse Liston on Neal by the half way line led to Cameron Mitchell breaking. A long pass opened up space for winger Ben Rath, who came a whisker short before No.9 Luc Jones dived over.
Richmond took the lead after a catch-and-drive split with openside Jack Allcock dotting down.
Then, after some good work by lock Ed Milne, Neal broke from deep, going inside opposite number Jordan Simpson-Hefft and side-stepping Jones to score.
A five-metre lineout led to Holland heaving himself over. Within a minute of entering the fray, Richmond replacement Myles Scott marched 30 metres through the Exiles with the recycled ball going to lock Chris Davies for the try.
Waldren got the next as the pack drove over from a line-out before a break by Sharp finished with Williams sprinting to score.
A run through the middle by Richmond wing Rath led to Scott stuttering over and despite prop Craig Trenier being sin-binned on the 69th minute for collapsing the maul, full-back Rob Kirby’s boot earned the lead.
But two penalties in a row conceded by Toby Saysell and Jake Parker gave Sharp the chance to make up for five earlier misses from the tee.
Richmond coach Mark Matzopoulos said: “We tried to wind the clock down but Scottish were clever in isolating Parker and getting the penalty. If we’d kicked it out the ball would have been dead.”