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Richmond relief at first home win care of Kirby masterclass
1:00pm Sunday 6th October 2013 in Sport
Out of my way: Cinderford's Steffan Hawley struggles to get to grips with Richmond winger Will Browne
Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill was a happy man after watching his men claim a first home win of the season over Cinderford on Saturday.
A second half James Greenwood hat-trick and added to tries from man of the match Rob Kirby, Sam Reynolds, Greg Drew and Jamie Falconer to eventually secure a seven-try rout for a 55-20 five-point haul at the Athletic Ground.
And Hill knew who to thank for the impressive display.
"I am incredibly pleased for the squad, not just in achieving their first home win of the season, but also in the manner of how it was achieved.
"Rob Kirby, Will Browne and James Greenwood in the backs were simply outstanding, whilst the work rate of the Tom George, Harison Edwards and Sam Reynolds in the backrow and the leadership of Will Warden ensured we had the required platform of possession."
Even the distraction of two second half yellow cards for the home side did not disrupt an excellent performance featuring some highly entertaining and flowing attacking rugby.
Richmond made two injury enforced changes to their starting XV, with former Tynedale man Sam Reynolds replacing Simon Ackroyd and Dave Simmons earning a recall in place of Jason Phipps, who will be out for a while with a dislocated shoulder.
Three penalties conceded in the first four minutes did not provide the best start and Cinderford took early advantage, Reece Broughton slotting a straightforward penalty.
However, Richmond countered immediately, the first try following a familiar charge from the hurtling Will Browne.
Cinderford allowed the ball to bounce and Browne nailed his opposite number, the elusive Nev Codlin, who was penalised for holding on.
From the line out, Harison Edwards claimed possession and his pack drove forward before Rob Kirby picked a good angle to split the defence and touch down under the posts. Tom Platt converted.
Another Kirby break almost set up a follow up try, but the fly half, enjoying his second man of the match performance in as many weeks, was caught with men outside him.
The second try followed in the twentieth minute, Edwards making early inroads before Danny Parkinson stormed twenty-five metres into the Cinderford 22 and the forwards drove over from the next phase of play, Reynolds scoring his first club try, converted by Platt.
When the full back added a long straight penalty to make it nine successful kicks out of nine, Richmond looked set for a comfortable win.
But, as on the previous two Saturdays, the early lead was soon challenged and by half time had been reduced to 17-13.
Cinderford’s second penalty was the result of a crossing offence at the kick off.
Their first try, ten minutes later, followed an exchange of kicks, from which the Forest of Dean side countered to find Richmond offside.
From the line out ten metres out, the well drilled visitors’ pack drove, in familiar fashion, and Finlay Sinclair was at the bottom of the bodies to claim the honours, Broughton adding the conversion.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half effectively settled the match as Richmond added three tries, all scored by James Greenwood.
The forwards must have been fed raw meat at the break as they were now much more direct, punching holes in the Cinderford defence.
Winger Greenwood had plenty to do for each try, benefitting from some lovely long passes to demonstrate his range of skills in beating his man, stepping inside for the first, outpacing the defence for the second and weaving his way through a tackle for the third.
Platt added the conversions before, having taken a knock, he was replaced by Paul Nash.
Unfortunately the home side now managed to acquire two yellow cards in four minutes, Nash the unlikely perpetrator of an illegal tackle on the lively substitute prop, William Davis, and then Jamie Gibbs coming offside at the breakdown, five metres out.
With Richmond reduced to seven forwards, No 8 George Evans brushed off a blindside tackle at the follow up scrum to claim his side’s second try, converted by Michael Wilcox.
If Cinderford anticipated a small glimmer of hope, Richmond now redoubled efforts and made certain of a convincing victory.
Fly half Kirby took over kicking duties and landed a long first effort before Nash returned to the field.
With the team back to fourteen men, Richmond steadily imposed control though they were indebted to a wonderful corner flag tackle from Browne to save another try.
When ex-Richmond prop Elliott Booley was yellow carded, the tables were turned and skipper Will Warden again led the way bolting away from the pack and bursting twenty metres before finding substitute Greg Drew at his shoulder for his first club try.
Kirby added the conversion and, as his name was being confirmed as man of the match, added another piece of trickery by chipping and catching his kick to send Jamie Falconer racing away for his side’s seventh and final try of the game.
Needless to say, Kirby added the conversion, the final scoreline being within two points of the result in the same game last year.
Richmond travel to Doncaster Knights this weekend.
Team: T.Platt(P.Nash), J.Greenwood, N.Moore, J.Crossley(J.Falconer), W.Browne, R.Kirby, J.Gibbs(P.Nash), J.Gethings(J.Cunnew), D.Simmons(G.Drew), D.Parkinson, W.Warden, C.Davies, T.George(C.Lenygon), H.Edwards, S.Reynolds.