Richmond start 2012 in style
9:51am Monday 9th January 2012 in Rugby Union
Richmond began the second half of the season as they began the first, playing high tempo rugby and securing a four try bonus point win.
Opponents Hertford defended valiantly for a good amount of the game but in the last fifteen minutes the fatigue produced by Richmond’s ball in hand rugby really began to take its toll on the home side.
Both sides showed good attacking intent from the off. Richmond drew first blood by keeping the ball alive through a number of phases and then an excellent inside ball from scrum half Paul Nash to lock Chris Davies saw him crash over to score.
Richmond continued to keep the ball in hand but the Hertford defence was resolute and kept the visitors at bay.
After twenty minutes the Richmond lead was reduced to two points after a well taken drop goal from Hertford fly half Olly Forest.
Hertford followed this with a period of sustained pressure but could not add to their points. Soon after Hertford dangerously took out a Richmond lifter at a lineout.
Tom Platt stepped up to score the ensuing penalty. Richmond took the 8-3 lead into half time.
Richmond turned round with the wind and slope in their favour.
Will Browne dramatically caught the ball from James Brooks kick off and set up a period of pressure near the Hertford line.
The hosts conceded a number of penalties defending their line which eventually saw flanker Josh Corcoran yellow-carded.
Tom Platt nailed three points from the resulting penalty.
With Hertford’s pack down to seven men and Richmond camped in their 22 metre area it was only a matter of time before Richmond scored and this they did through Harison Edwards picking up from the base of the very solid scrum and diving over.
At 16-3 Richmond begun to really open up. The pack continued to secure good first phase ball whilst James Brooks at fly-half continually asked questions of the opposition defence.
Centres Tom Gregory and Barney Pascall both made strong breaks and only excellent cover tackling from Hertford prevented more tries.
Gregory made yet another break, was excellently supported openside Jaime Thompson who then gave wing James Greenwood time and space to beat the home defence to score.
Hertford never gave up and from turnover ball set up an excellent attack which saw their best player of the day Paul MacNamee crash over in the corner. Unfortunately the referee had seen a forward pass and disallowed the try.
With time running out Richmond pushed had for the fourth try to secure the bonus point.
A length of the field attack saw Gregory again beat two defenders and then find the Tasmanian-devil like winger Will Browne on his shoulder to support and score.
Tom Platt secured the conversion to give an impressive 28 points to 3 points victory.
The three week break appeared to have rejuvenated the Richmond side who always looked likely to cut loose. Hertford played significantly better than their league table position indicates and certainly seem to have the ability to stay in this league.