Richmond won the toss and Alice Richardson kicked off the FIRSTHALF encounter with Aylesford. The Richmond forwards were quick to the breakdown and Aylesford were penalised immediately with the resulting penalty in Richmond’s favour. Richmond opted to kick. The careful judged kick from Richardson 10m from the Aylesford tryline resulted in Richmond winning the lineout and scrumhalf Amy Turner sending the ball out to the backs which ended up with full back Jo Watmore drawing first blood for Richmond. Unfortunately Richardson failed to make the conversion.
The restart saw the forwards chopping at the bit with some great attacking momentum, but unfortunately lost the ball in the ruck as Aylesford turned possession their way and out to their fullback in the Aylesford 22m. The fullback immediately tried to clear to touch, but fell short and was caught by Richardson who knocked it on. The subsequent Aylesford scrum saw their scrumhalf get the ball out cleanly to their fly half who hit touch this time.
Richmond’s second try of the day came off the ensuing lineout and paddock practiced phase of play from the backs that saw wing Oli Davies cross the line for the first of her successive three tries.
Despite 5 minutes of handling errors from Richmond off this particular restart, the ball still managed to find its way to Davies who managed to cross the line for the second time from a 30m dash. Fly half Richardson converted for the first time today.
18 minutes into the game and Aylesford finally make their first running break of the game into the Richmond half. However, Watmore was too quick and caught the breakaway player who stole the ball and offloaded to Davies who handed off three Aylesford players before being brought down. Unfortunately, the referee awarded a penalty in Aylesford’s favour for a Richmond infringement. For the first time, Aylesford were now in the Richmond 22. With renewed vigour, they constantly bombarded the Richmond line, eventually breaking through as the hosts were caught napping on the fringes of a ruck. Fly half Kinsey Tayla took advantage of this and scored in-between the posts for Aylesford, duly converting her own try.
Frustrated at being caught having a disco-nap, Richmond immediately retaliated with Davies crossing the line through the posts for her hat-trick and Richardson quickly slotting through the conversion. Then number 8 Becky Essex also crossed the line in a blink of an eye.
Richmond now seemed to have their head in the game and their tails up with 10 minutes or so to go before half time. A short lapse in concentration saw Aylesford break into the Richmond 22 again. Some superb jackling at the ruck saw Richmond’s Turner regain possession to pass to Richardson to seek touch on the halfway line. Aylesford unluckily knocked on in the resulting lineout. Richmond clinically won their own scrum and great interplay between forward runners and backs alike saw the hosts edge closer to the Aylesford tryline until Watmore knocked it on.
Richmond were not only penalised with a scrum against then, but with a free kick also. It almost looked like Aylesford would finish the first half with possession as Richmond continued to make error after error. Nonetheless, quick thinking by scrumhalf Turner saw her cross the line for a try, which Richardson converted, just before the referee blew up.
HALFTIME saw Richmond make some tactical changes. Holly Myers came on for Becky Ball and Claire Allan came on for Turner. As a result, Fran Matthews moved to scrumhalf in order to allow Allan to take her place in the centres alongside Jade Wong.
Aylesford’s Tayla kicked off in the second half played straight into Richmond’s hands with Watmore scoring her second try of the day. Richardson accordingly converted the try.
Another quickly scored try, this time by Richardson who converted her own try.
Despite these two quick tries, Aylesford never seemed to give up as pride was the only thing they could take away from this game. For the first time this half, Aylesford penetrated the Richmond defence, getting ever closer to the Richmond tryline. Their continued battering of the Richmond defensive line saw them rewarded with a scrum 10m out. It looked like Aylesford’s focus and hard work might result in a second try. However, this was not to be and the defending champions showed their class by regaining more field position towards the Aylesford tryline. A genius bit of vision and clever chip kicking by Richardson over the heads of the Aylesford backline saw Watmore and Davies chase after the ball. The Athletic Ground crowd waited with baited breath to see who would get there first. It was Watmore to complete her hat-trick of the day.
Aylesford make their first substitution of the game and bring on Michelle Matthew to replace their tight head prop and Richmond give Richardson a well-earned rest and bring on Jackie Shiels. The floodgates now open, Richmond appear unstoppable as one try follows another to give Watmore her second hat-trick of the day.
Aylesford look keen at the restart, and retain possession off the kick off before knocking it on from tiredness. The ensuing Richmond scrum saw an Essex pick up get the ball out to the backs for Davies to finish off for her fourth and final try of the game.
With 10 minutes now left on the clock, the referee halts play for an Aylesford injury and allows Rowena Burnfield to replace Matthews. Richmond reshuffle to allow Burnfield to move into the forwards and move Wong from centre to scrumhalf and hooker Emma Crocker to centre. Richmond’s sixteenth and final try of the day came from a McCarthy 15m break to the hands of the backs for Allan to finish.
The referee calls time at the Athletic Ground 5 minutes early, disappointingly not allowing the hosts to try and surpass a 100 points. Final score Richmond 91 – Aylesford 7.
Aylesford Bulls Ladies
|19/10/2014||2:00 pm||Women's Premiership||2014-15|
|Richmond Athletic Ground|
|The Athletic Ground, Twickenham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SF|