Nottingham 34 Richmond 17

After an horrendous four hour journey up the M1 to Nottingham, there followed an action-packed first half with Richmond crossing for two tries and 4th placed Nottingham just edging events scoring three with the score 22-17 at half time, writes Paul Kirby.

But it was Nottingham who were to prevail in the second half when they scored another two tries to secure a bonus point win.

Post-match comments from Steve Hill, Richmond’s Director of Rugby: “Unfortunately neither our defence nor attack were up to the standard of the last few matches.

"Nottingham were very sharp in attack and took their chances well. Our error count was far too high and the challenge is now how the players will adapt to deal with the very tough challenge Doncaster will present on Friday week”.

Always maintaining their utopian amateur status, contradictory to other full-time professional Championship clubs, Richmond since their resurrection, have continued to eulogise a holistic conception of player development, actively encouraging entrepreneurship.

Simply put, the club do their best to introduce players into careers where they can develop imagination and initiative ready for meaningful exit routes out of the game knowing that as they near the end of their rugby career, that they will not only feel more secure but will also become better leaders both off and on the pitch.

Back to the match. Nottingham made a positive start with Tiff Eden putting the hosts into some good areas in the opening few minutes and their early pressure paid off when South African scrum half Darryl Veenendaal slipped his way through the Richmond defence to plunge under the posts. Fly-half Tiff Eden, on loan from Worcester, added the extras giving the home side an early 7-0 lead.

Richmond responded well however by winning a penalty. Full back Robert Kirby pointed to the posts and successfully put the long range kick over to reduce the deficit to 7-3.

Moments later, it was Nottingham who were back on the attack, this time through their Man of the Match, Oli Evans.

The centre showed a good turn of foot to break through the visitors defence but was brilliantly tackled by Jordan Simpson-Hefft, five metres out. However from the ensuing play the home side were awarded a penalty and Eden extended the score to 10-3.

The game continued to be a lively affair with the visitors looking dangerous on the attack. But the Nottingham defence held firm with Sean Scanlon and Darryl Veenendaal both putting in try saving tackles.

But they couldn’t stop Richmond winger Jordan Simpson-Hefft from crossing over in the far corner on 19 minutes after some quick hands across the back line. Robert Kirby maintaining his 100% success over the past few games did well to convert the score from a difficult angle to put his side level.

Then on 24 minutes Nottingham secured lineout ball, passed the ball wide to Oli Evans who showed electric pace, sprinting 50 metres to once again dive over. Eden converted to make the score, 17-10.

Richmond were now beginning to gain some momentum going forward with a preponderance of possession.

It was no surprise that with ten minutes of sustained pressure with consecutive driving mauls, Nottingham were twice penalised.

Richmond called for a five metre scrum that allowed scrum-half Luc Jones to jink his way over and score their second try of the game. Robert Kirby nailed a difficult pressure kick again to make the score 17-17.

From the re-start with four minutes to half time, Nottingham crucially added their third try. Richmond allowed the home side to set up an attack close to the line. Danger seemed to clear but, on the advice of the linesman, play was recalled and a penalty awarded. Nottingham elected a 5 metre scrum, and Joe Cobden eventually bundled his way over for the host’s third try of the match. Eden’s conversion was unsuccessful, with his kick bouncing off the post.

On the brink of half time Nottingham were awarded a penalty, giving Eden the chance to extend the score.

The fly-half extravagantly lined up the kick that was fumbled, meaning the action-packed first half ended dramatically 22-17 with all to play for after the break.

Nottingham hit the ground running in the second half and it took them just three minutes to secure the bonus point try. Shane Buckley powering over from short range for a converted score, 29-17.

Nonetheless, after that crucial try the pace of the match slowed down with Richmond trying hard but up against it after losing both Jason Phipps and Luc Jones through injury, though still doing well to keep Nottingham at bay.

In spite of that on 67 minutes the visitors were penalised for offside on the 10 metre line and Eden pointed to the posts. The fly-half stepped up to take the kick but again failed to get enough behind it.

Nottingham now were managing the game well and were rewarded with another try after Joe Cobden’s impressive break forward.

He was well tackled again by Simpson-Hefft, but the ball was recycled and Billy Robinson galloped over in the corner for a fifth try. Eden missed the conversion making the score 34-17.

That proved to be the final action of the match with Nottingham securing the match 34-17, with the luxury of a bonus point and recording their fifth league win.

Next up for Richmond is another tricky home fixture against Doncaster Knights on Friday, November 10 (7:45pm kick-off).

Tries: Simpson-Hefft, Jones Conversions: Kirby (2) Penalties: Kirby Team: R.Kirby, J.Woodward, C.Mitchell, R.McLean-Dents, J.Simpson-Hefft, F.Gabbitass (J.Swann), L.Jones (R.Adamson), J.Cunnew J.Phipps (R.Grimstone), C.Trenier (J.Tarrant), W.Warden C.Davies(A.Humfrey), J.Liston, T.Allcock (T.Saysell), J.Parker.