Sharp nails late kick to give Scots lo­cal pride

The Rugby Paper - - Championship | National League 1 - By LUKE JARMYN

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.”

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