Always hotly contested and never slow, Richmond versus Saracens games are a treat for rugby supporters and yesterday was no different.
Richmond started the game well with a steely determination showing in their play and they were rewarded with a try from Natasha Brennan in the corner. The conversion was missed. 5-0.
The pressure of the game was evident as both teams struggled to string phases of play together; normally calm and clinical players allowing the odd loose pass to show the tension they felt. The first half remained scoreless to give Richmond a 5-0 lead at half time.
Both teams upped the tempo in the second half however an outstanding solo effort from Alex Matthews (playing at centre due to injuries) gave Richmond a second try against the run of play. The conversion was unfortunately missed in windy conditions. 10-0.
Saracens refused to let this faze them and Zira Handley calmly kicked a penalty to get their first points on the board before Poppy Cleall scored their first try. Handley converted to tie the scores at 10-10.
Richmond took the chance to go into the lead with a penalty from Abi Chamberlain however Saracens came straight back with a try out wide from Lotte Clapp to make it 13-15 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
The Richmond scrum and lineout were starting to dominate and Saracens gave away one too many penalties resulting in a yellow card for their prop. This however led to uncontested scrums due to injuries to the front row. Richmond instead used the opportunity to kick for touch and drive for the line. They recycled the ball and Matthews looked sure to get her second when there was an infringement and the referee signalled a penalty try. Richmond converted to give them the lead and held on for the remaining few minutes to take the win. 20-15.
With one round of matches left, Saracens remain top of the table, one point ahead of Richmond and for the 3rd year in a row we go into the last game not knowing who will be the champions.
|11/01/2015||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2014-15|
|Richmond Athletic Ground|
|The Athletic Ground, Twickenham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SF|