Richmond 19 Leinster ‘A’ 68
(Report by guest correspondent due to Tim Forrester being away)
Richmond welcomed the mighty Leinster to the Athletic Ground for the first pool game of the British and Irish Cup competition and were shown the depth of class they possess as a rugby franchise. What Richmond showed was a huge amount of effort and heart which, whilst not reflected on the scoreboard, will stand them in good stead going forward.
Leinster were full of age-group, ‘A’ and full internationals including British Lion Sean O’Brien. Richmond contained three Irish lads, flanker Rowan Halsall, fly-half Sean O’Hagan and prop Adam Boland who all gave a strong account of themselves.
Leinster tries from Daly and O’Brien were followed by a terrific intercept and 80 metre run from Richmond wing Charlie Broughton. Byrne and O’Brien made it 26-7 in less than thirty minutes. Tries before and after half-time by Byrne and Larmour took the score to 40-7. A slightly harsh sin-binning of Harison Edwards proved extremely costly seeing the visitors add tries form Conan, Timmins and Byrne. A final try by James Ryan took the score to 68-7 with a full quarter remaining.
Many sides at this point would have thrown in the towel but Richmond simply refused to stop working hard. Replacement scrum-half Callum Grant supplied a good amount of ball which saw Tom Sargeant make several good inroads. A break into the visitors half led to a large number of phases which stretched the Leinster defence. Finally with the Leinster defence tight around the ruck Richmond fly-half O’Hagan launched a pinpoint accurate cross field kick into the hands of the waiting Sargeant. Centre Leighton Bellamore added some defensive bite off the bench whilst locks Lenygon and Hotson worked tirelessly to give the team some go forward. Joe Tarrant’s addition to the scrum alongside Boland’s tireless efforts gave a better attacking platform. With Leinster yet again attacking Carpo and Halsall produced a double tackle which freed the ball. O’Hagan pounced on the ball and sprinted a full 55 metres to score under the posts.
The large crowd greeted the final two scores with huge applause and showed their appreciation for both the class of Leinster ‘A’ but also the bravery and determination of Richmond.
Steve Hill, Richmond FC Director of Rugby, commented; ‘I am immensely proud of how hard these players worked against such a terrific team as Leinster. The opposition today was as strong as any we have faced this season. Tom Platt led the team superbly and I thought the way we played in the final quarter epitomised the spirt and camaraderie that we know is going to be so important this season. ‘
Richmond: Platt, Broughton, Woodward, Quarendon, Freeman, O’Hagan, Heeks, Hughes, Pike, Boland, Lenygon, Hotson, Sargeant, Halsall, Edwards.
Replacements; Townsend, Tarrant, Crawford, Grant, Bellamore, Gadsby, Carpo