Richmond Women 24 Bristol Bears 22

Epic Comeback Secures Second Win Of The Season

Tiger Woods. Novak Djokovic. New Zealand against England in the autumn. All good comebacks in 2018; all pale into insignificance against the tale of Richmond’s glorious second victory of the season last weekend.

22-7 down at half-time, Richmond put on a second half masterclass to cross for three more tries, keep the opposition from adding points to the scoreboard, and secured a bonus point victory with virtually the last play of the game. Epic.

It certainly didn’t feel like an epic early on – after a strong and aggressive start, led as always by Ro Burnfield causing chaos at the breakdown, Richmond somehow didn’t come away with any points, and after Bristol earned a series of penalties to get themselves to the other end of the field and slot a kick for the opening points. Two tries followed, one a carving break from distance, one a charge-down opportunistic finish, and Richmond were suddenly 15-0 down without doing too much wrong.

Richmond finally got on the board with a  clever kick wide for Oli Davies to finish, but Bristol scored again before the break to open up the 15 point lead that was seemingly insurmountable.

Then came the second half brilliance. Richmond cranked up the pressure, started to win ball at the set piece a lot cleaner, and the backs and forwards unveiled their chaotic gameplan that at its best, few teams can stop. First, Abi Chamberlain crossed from close range after a series of penalties and close range pressure. When Emelie Hellgren danced through defenders to bring it back to 22-19 with five minutes to go, it was on… and then Richmond stole a lineout, won a penalty at the scrum, pushed the ball deep and went through some wonderful phases.

The moment looked lost when the ball went dead, but a suicidal quick 22m drop from Bristol handed the ball to Tess Braunerova out wide. She recycled, and off the next phase, super Anna Caplice hit the line at pace, burst through three tacklers and scored the try that put Richmond in the lead. One minute remained, and Richmond managed to see out the time to secure a second win of the season.

With two home games against struggling sides on the horizon, after a tricky trip to Firwood Waterloo this weekend, the side are eyeing a few more wins before Christmas. Play like this, and there’s no stopping this side…