Richmond 16-57 Knights.
Nine try Knights prove too powerful for Richmond.
The Knights headed to South to face the league newcomers at the Richmond Athletic Ground for the first time since October 2013 when paths cross in National Division One.
The hosts entered the fixture having visited the Madejski Stadium in round two where they managed something the Knights could not and scored 12 points against relegated Premiership side London Irish.
Richmond began the fixture impressively, very much matching the Knights for the opening quarter, but ultimately could not match Donny’s impressive physicality and execution which was reflected in the final score.
The opening points went ‘Mond’s way with only a minute on the clock as Matt Challinor was penalized for a high tackle and stand off Sean O’Hagan successfully slotted the three-pointer.
The hosts remained lively and were very happy to front up to the Knights with some committed defense but eventually a gap came as Donny forced tackle after tackle out of the brave resistance.
The first breakthrough came shortly before the ten-minute mark. Dec Cusack Carried to the line before handing on to Tyson Lewis, the winger accelerated through a gap before passing wide to Lloyd Hayes who showed the covering defence a clean pair of heels to cross the whitewash. Cusack on target with the conversion.
An instant response came from the hosts as flanker Tom Sargeant took advantage of some uncharacteristically sloppy Knights defence the break towards the line. Paul Jarvis and Tyson Lewis got back to make the tackle but a scrum was awarded Richmond’s way just 5m out. Scrum half Sam Stuart attacked blind from the base of the scrum and after a couple of quick phases winger Charles Broughton crossed to put the hosts in the lead.
Momentum stayed with the hosts post try who were able to make inroads with series of imposing attacks. The home lead was extended on 19-minutes as O’Hagan hit another penalty after the Knights defensive line was caught offside, 11-7.
This was to be as good as it got for Richmond as the Knights began to move through the gears and in the twenty minutes before half time built an unassailable lead, picking up a four try bonus point in the process.
Paul Jarvis restored the Knights lead moments after the penalty, the winger finishing off a lovely piece of handling that involved Alex Shaw, Dec Cusack and Sean Scanlon to set Lloyd Hayes in motion. The centre burst forward to set up a two on one before releasing for Jarvis to cross, Cusack’s conversion made it 11-14.
Moments later Tyson Lewis got his first of three for the afternoon.
A penalty in midfield was punted into touch in the home 22m by Cusack and Richmond elected to stand off the Knights at the lineout. As a result Lloyd Hayes hit the line at full tilt to get within a few yards of the whitewash and play was brought blind where possession found it’s way to Tyson in the corner.
Tyson got his second just two minutes later with arguably the pick of the bunch. A line out just inside halfway was safely gathered and spun in field, Cusack popped an inside pass to the oncoming Lewis who put his foot down from 60 metres to outstrip the whole of the Richmond back field and score in the corner….one worth watching on the highlights!
There was to be one more score before the break as Paul Jarvis grabbed his second, and the Knights fifth. The winger harried home full back Ross Jones-Davies and chargd down a clearance kick. The rebound bounced over the line and Jarvis dived on it; Cusack added the extras taking the half time score to 11-31.
The second half brought a change of end but no change in momentum. Will Browne was yellow carded only a minute after the resumption for a mid air tackle on Alex Shaw and the Knights made the advantage pay. The subsequent penalty was stuck to touch and possession was moved from right to left very quickly stretching the home defence. Eventually a hole appeared and Lloyd Hayes charged through it for his second score of the afternoon.
Back to fifteen men, Richmond stemmed the Knights attack slightly and made the odd voyage into Donny territory but were unable to improve on their score. Before the hour mark the Knights went in again as Alex Shaw carried impressively to break the defensive line and gallop home from the 22m.
Richmond did manage a second score after the Knights invited pressure with a mistake at the restart which resulted in the ball being put to touch deep in the 22m. Another defensive penalty followed the lineout, and with advantage, O’Hagan tried a hack forward which bounced kindly for home centre Cameron Mitchell to get over.
The final fifteen minutes saw the tempo of the game drop a little but the Knights were still able to add two further tries and pass the half century mark.
Firstly, Tyson Lewis completed his hat-trick with a good finish in the corner after taking a wide miss-pass from Paul Jarvis. Then, in the final play of the game, Sam Edgerley demonstrated some exquisite footwork and pace to carry deep towards the line and hand onto Sean Scanlon who went over under the sticks. Simon Humberstone’s successful conversion ended the game with the final score 16-57.
An impressive win for the Knights against a committed and determined Richmond outfit who deserve full credit for sticking to their task throughout the fixture. Next weekend will likely bring a sterner test as Bedford visit Castle Park.
Richmond; 15)Ross Jones-Davies, 14) Charles Broughton, 13) Cam Mitchell, 12) Ronnie McLean-Dents, 11) Will Browne (Jono Woodward 75’), 10) Sean O’Hagan (Rob Kirby 61’), 9) Sam Stuart (Matt Heeks 65’), 1) Tim Walford (Jeremy Cunnew 57’), 2) Ross Grimstone, 3) Ali Lyon (Alex Wood 61’), ( 4) Will Warden ©, 5) Matt Corker, 6) Tom Sargeant (Charlie Lenygon 48’), 7) Jack Allcock, 8) Chris Davies.
Replacement; 16) Jason Phipps, 17) Jeremy Cunnew, 18) Charlie Lenygon, 19) Matt Heeks, 20) Jono Woodward, 21) Rob Kirby, 22) Alex Wood.
Tries; Broughton 13’, Mitchell 60’
Pens; O’ Hagan 2’, 19’
Yellow Card; Will Browne 41’
Knights; 15. Sean Scanlon, 14. Paul Jarvis, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Lloyd Hayes, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Declan Cusack (Simon Humberstone 55’), 9. Michael Heaney © (Sam Edgerley 66’), 1. Robin Hislop (Richard List 70’), 2. Harry Allen (Ben Hunter 48’), 3. WillGriff John (Colin Quigley 55’), 4. Matt Challinor (Dave Nolan 62’), 5. Glen Young, 6. Latu Makaafi, 7. Beau Robinson (Jarad Williams 48’), 8. Alex Shaw.
Replacements; 16. Richard List, 17. Ben Hunter, 18. Colin Quigley, 19. David Nolan, 20. Jarad Williams, 21. Simon Humberstone, 22. Sam Edgerley
Tries; Hayes 8’ 46’, Jarvis 22’ & 39’, Lewis 25’ & 31’, 64’, Shaw 55’, Scanlon 80’
Conv; Cusack 8’, 23’, 40’, 46’, 55’ Humberstone 80’
Referee; Andrew Jackson