This weekend, Richmond set out to face Saracens, in the game that would decide their position in the Premiership- a win would put them at the top of the table. After watching their second team secure six bonus point wins out of six, the pressure was on for Richmond, but they didn’t disappoint. Allianz Park stadium saw some outstanding performances, and even the rain held off in suspense, until the final whistle blew.
The match starts with a strong kick, followed by an excellent receipt, immediately preparing us for an exhibition of women’s rugby at its finest.
At first Saracens dominated, quickly claiming territory, but several kicks took Richmond away from their danger zone, and all the way to Saracen’s five-metre line. Then its Saracens turn to send the ball flying back into Richmond’s half.
The first points come fifteen minutes in, when Saracens kick a penalty, making it 3-0.
Richmond retaliate with a series of short runs, which get them ever closer to the posts. The backs then take the ball and almost score, but are brought back for a five-metre scrum.
Two minutes later Saracens get a scrum, again on the five-metre line, but Richmond’s immediate pressure forces a third scrum, this time in their favour. The forwards push together, and drive over the line, where Rowena Burnfield scores the first try of the match. 5-3
Both teams almost score again, but strong defensive lines, coupled with several well-timed kicks, mean that the score going into halftime remains at 3-5.
Saracens begin the second half with a new burst of energy, and score within the first few minutes. They overtake Richmond, making the score 8-5.
Richmond come straight back, and reach Saracens’ five-metre line within minutes. It takes another ten for them to score however, but eventually Tess Forsberg breaks through the red and black wall. Jackie Shiels converts, putting Richmond ahead once again. 8-12
For a while that score remains, despite some powerful Richmond drives, and great linking play. Both teams break through into their opposition’s twenty-two, but even after receiving a heavy battering, each defensive line somehow manages to reform and remain resilient, in time to prevent further score.
Saracens score again, and now they lead by just one point. 12-13
Richmond again respond with passion, and after kicking off, soon steal back the ball. A penalty then gains them even more territory, and they reach Saracens’ five-metre line. A lineout sets up the forwards to drive over the line, and Emma Croker grounds the ball. 13-17
With Saracens desperate to score again, it took all of Richmond’s effort to keep their try line safe, but somehow they managed it. Final score: 13-17.
Next week Richmond face Aylesford at home, with the game being played in the Richmond World Cup Fanzone, beside the club.
|18/10/2015||3:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2015-16|
|Copthall Cottages, Greenlands Ln, London NW4 1RL, UK|
Richmond Athletic Ground
Richmond Athletic Ground
Bramley Road Sports Ground