In chilly conditions, DMP Sharks made the long journey south for Richmond’s last home game in the Premiership this season. In a disjointed start to the game, due to deliberation about pitch conditions, kick off was pushed back until 2.30pm. Richmond were able to retain focus and secure their second win over sharks this season, scoring six tries.
A strong kick off from England fly half Katy McLean gave the Sharks a good start as they tried to assert themselves early on in the game. Picking out their strong, direct runners, they battered away at the try line for 10 mins but were unable to find a way through as the home defence held strong.
Richmond turned over possession on their try line and worked their way back up the pitch through big carries from Alex Matthews and Claire Phelps and some accurate kicking from Kay Wilson.
The first points of the game went to Richmond Captain Emma Croker after a text book catch and drive from a lineout.
Both sides played some excellent running rugby but it was Richmond who made the most of possession. The forwards trundled up the pitch with a great series of pick and goes until they were 5 metres out from the try line. Scrum half Jade Wong popped the ball short down the blind side to flanker Fran Hall who kicked the ball on for Wong to regather and dive over the line 36 minutes in. The half time score stood at 10-0.
Richmond carried through their confidence and belief into the second half. The backs broke into their stride and some simple but well executed handling down the back line put winger Kiri Lose in just enough space to sprint down the side line. Lose had the pace and skill to finish and touch down in the corner, despite the high covering tackle.
Another try soon followed as the Richmond team really began to gel. They weren’t afraid to spread the ball wide between touch lines and run at the Sharks defence hard. Prop Anna Butler scored her first ever try in her 11-year career.
66 minutes in, holes began to appear in the Sharks defensive line and Croker was quick to exploit them, bursting through the midfield and she showed her pace to cross the try line.
Wilson was next to get on the scoreboard for Richmond after the girls in red, black and gold secured turnover ball in their own 22, releasing Wilson to sprint for the posts.
In the final five minutes of the game Richmond were reduced to 14 when replacement prop Alex Zdunek was sent to the bin for repeat team offences. Sharks found a sudden burst of energy a scored five points with a driving maul of their own.
In the last play of the game, Sharks had the final say when Zoe Aldcroft barged her way over the line, taking a few defenders with her.
The final score stood at 30 – 10, meaning Richmond stay above DMP in the table and add another bonus point to their tally.
The final Women’s Premiership game of the season sees Richmond travel to Lichfield on 26th March.
DMP Durham Sharks
|22/01/2017||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2016-17|
|Richmond Athletic Ground|
|The Athletic Ground, Twickenham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SF|