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Home > News > Rosslyn Park 23 - Richmond 7
Your News Rosslyn Park 23 - Richmond 7

A well-drilled Richmond side gave Park enough to think about before the hosts picked up their four points for the win. In terms of possession there wasnt a lot in it, but Parks backs always looked far more dangerous while a home defence that has now conceded only one try in three matches was equal to anything the visitors could come up with.

In one respect it was fortunate for Park that this match was an early kick off: Doug Rodman twisted his ankle in the warm up, so Graham Corin was summoned to divert hell-for-leather from travelling to the 2nd XV fixture at Westcombe Park to arrive at Roehampton moments after kick-off, boots in hand and already clad in a track suit to sit on the replacements bench.

Park gave early notice of attacking intent with two penalties kicked to touch and a flowing move that saw Nick Canty come into the line but not quite able to take the final pass with the tryline at his mercy. Richmond harried and disrupted the home side across the field, generally made things difficult, and waged an effective war of attrition when in possession.

The visitors had the first chance of set-piece points when a quickly taken free-kick saw Park concede a penalty but Cousins kick was wide. Park came back with a strong run from hooker Amo Tauialo, pummelling through the middle but, before his team could capitalise, being penalised for not releasing. Back came Richmond and a further penalty saw Cousins kick them into a 3-0 lead after 27 minutes.

Another good driving run from Tauialo committed defenders and Park flung the ball wide where James Strong was too quick for the visiting defence and sprinted in for a try, converted against the wind by Rhys Gosling. Park piled on the pressure as Adam Gates stormed at the visiting defence, Nick Canty and Howard Quigley took the move on but frustratingly the ball was dropped as a score looked inevitable.

A further attack up the left was met with a superb clearance kick that took Richmond to the Park 22 in one fell swoop, but Park ran it back to the Richmond line where desperate defence saw visiting number 8 Schalkwyk yellow carded for a late hit. Gosling accepted the 3 points from the penalty, but into injury time Cousins cancelled that out with a penalty of his own for 10-6 at the interval.

Park failed to exploit their one man advantage at the start of the second half indeed Richmond themselves had an early chance when Cousins missed a penalty. Parks backs were now buzzing and now facing the wind the visitors had to expend a lot more energy in defending. After 49 minutes they were caught offside trying to stem another attack and Gosling stretched the lead to 13-6.

Richmond certainly had not given up, and launched several forays of their own but they could not find a chink in Parks defensive armour. Park played some superb passes out of defence, probing from several directions before a strong run from Graham Barr set up the try for Canty to make it 18-6.

Park really needed the 4-try bonus; Richmond were determined not to concede it and looked still enough of a threat to force Park not to take risks in pursuit of it. Two penalties kicked to touch for 5 metre lineouts saw the visitors exert enormous pressure from rehearsed moves which would have broken most defences, but when Parks was able to resist even this it was clear there was no way through.

Richmond began to tire but never faltered from harrying Park all over the field and when the home side did grab a further try from Alex Cadwallader on his debut, courtesy of some good work by Strong it was too late for any real prospect of a fourth. Neighbours London Scottish and Ealing Parks rivals for promotion definitely owe Richmond a drink for services rendered.

Park: Canty; Strong, Jewell, ODriscoll (Cadwallader), Swords; Gosling; Barr (Roche); Huggett, Tauialo (Ritchie), Frazier; Quigley (Corin), Forster; Jones, Underwood, Gates.

Sub did not play: Blom

Park scorers: Strong (T), Canty (T), Cadwallader (T), Gosling (2P, C

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