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In thoroughly entertaining game, which did not reflect the scoreline, the vocal crowd had plenty to cheer about as they were treated to an afternoon of high intensity rugby.
The home side featured many players out of position but all stepped up to the mark and impressed the spectators, showing the hard work that has been put into training over the Christmas period.
In the first half, Richmond struggled to get their hands on the ball as silly penalties handed possession to Aylesford. Their significantly larger pack made life difficult at scrum time to secure clean ball as well.
The defence from the home team was excellent and forced the visitors to work for every try they scored around the outside. The winger showed great pace to edge around the outside on several occasions.
But it was Richmond who didn’t let their heads go down and ended the first half with the upper hand. On their first visit to the opposition 22 in the last few minutes of the half, the ball was spread wide to centre Lucy Pascall who had the chance to stretch her legs, before it was swung back to the forwards who trundled towards the try line, Ro Burnfield stretched long enough to touch down.
Richmond came back out with renewed vigour and belief in the second half. Sub Abi Chamberlain made her presence felt and controlled the game well from the back line.
55 minutes in Aylesford were reduced to 14 when prop Vickii Corborough was red carded for reckless footwork at ruck time. Richmond’s tails were up and they launched waves of attack, battering the try line. Their hard work paid off when Burnfield scored her second try of the game. It was unconverted, making the score 10-45.
Richmond attacked right from the kick off and earned themselves a lineout on the Aylesford 22. A well-executed catch and drive at the line out saw the pack set up a huge maul and drove the Bulls back. Aylesford were penalised again when flanker Fi Fletcher was sent to the sin bin for infringing at the maul, reducing them to just 13.
The home side, spurred on by the crowd, looked apply even more pressure and after another powerful maul, Richmond were awarded a penalty try, which was converted. 17-45.
Aylesford had the final say of the game as they outpaced the tiring back line down the wing to bring their score to the 50 mark.
Richmond Interim Head Coach Boris Pineles said, “The players showed truly outstanding grit and a never say die attitude in defence, which was a massive positive for us. We made life difficult for them to score. After 25 attacking plays they only scored three tries which showed our resilience.
“We’ve got plenty of things to work on in training next week in terms of decision making.
“There was great unity, communication and work rate from the pack which I was really pleased with. Link play amongst backs was solid in second half. The sense of belief behind the team gave us a secondary boost that meant we dominated the opposition in areas in they weren’t expecting us to.
“Girls had to step up to plate and play out of positions today but they still excelled and impressed. I am really proud to be their coach.”
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Aylesford Bulls Ladies
|08/01/2017||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2016-17|
|Richmond Athletic Ground|
|The Athletic Ground, Twickenham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SF|