Following their epic win over Ealing, a resurgent Richmond claimed their first away win of the season with a high class five try defeat of sixth placed Nottingham.

The previous day Hartpury had secured a 7-10 victory over Jersey Reds to claim four points but Richmond’s defiant five point counter lifts them back to 11th in the table, now two points clear of Hartpury in 12th place.

Richmond had to make a late change with Oli Evans a forced withdrawal, Ben Rath coming in on the wing and Henry Cheeseman moving to the centre.

With preparations further disrupted by their train cancellation, Richmond might have been excused a slow start.

However, with a gusting wind blowing at times violently across the pitch, it was the visitors, who set the pace. Lewis Dennett showed early adventure, tapping and running an early penalty and a short pass soon set Jesse Liston galloping clear into the 22.

In the next phase of play, fellow flanker Toby Saysell showcased his pace with another break deep into the Nottingham defence. When Nottingham finally secured possession, Murray McConnell’s clearance kick was charged down. The high tempo pressure was rewarded in the follow up scrum, Richmond getting a good shove to allow Luc Jones to power over for the first try. Rob Kirby added the first of five important conversions.

Will Goodrick-Clarke next secured a valuable turnover to get his side back on the attack but the ball was lost near the opposition 22 and Nottingham responded with a huge kick back. Richmond continued to press hard, Jono Woodward setting the tone, and Nottingham had several kicks charged down. However, after eighteen minutes, Nottingham won two successive penalties and opted to kick for the posts with the second, Shane O’Leary making no mistake.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

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From the kick off, Nottingham ran the ball back at the visitors, gaining 40 metres before running out of space. Richmond’s line out throw swirled horribly in the wind and Nottingham used possession to set up the powerful Jordan Coghlan on the charge. Richmond conceded a penalty and their opponents set themselves up in the corner. Max Crawford got a touch to their line out ball but not enough to disrupt their well-organised catch and drive, which resulted in a try for winger/converted back row Coghlan.

Henry Cheeseman was now forced off for an HIA and replaced for the rest of the game by Ben Cook.

Leading 8-7, Nottingham looked more confident but their composure did not last long as Richmond scored three times in the next ten minutes. From scrum possession around their ten metre line, the Nottingham backs ran the ball but coughed up possession with a handling error. Woodward was the first to react and squirmed his way within a few metres of the line. Jones took a moment to settle his forwards and they made no mistake, barraging the line until Goodrick-Clarke was able to force his way over. Instigator Woodward was sadly forced to hobble off and scrum half Jamie Gibbs, ever reliable, played the rest of the game on the wing.

With Jones and Dennett pulling the strings at half back, Richmond looked full of running and the next try was built on some lovely handling and passing. Initially attacking down the left touchline, Richmond made steady progress before substitute Cook took the ball on a wide arc, beating his man to run in close to the posts for a lovely try. Next it was Cameron Mitchell on the burst, drawing a penalty for offside. Richmond kicked for the corner, Chris Davies secured possession and the pack picked and drove relentlessly till Liston claimed the precious fourth try and bonus point.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

With three changes now in an unfamiliar backline, Richmond did not want to concede an early second half score. In fact they did better than that. With Crawford dominating the line outs, Richmond used a penalty to work their way deep into the Nottingham half. Retaining the ball through a number of phases, the alert Jones dummied to pass, stopped and sped through a defensive gap. With one man left to beat, the scrum half slowed before stepping his opponent to touch down near the posts for an excellent solo try.

Leading 8-35, Richmond were now happy to play safe and keep it tight. Nottingham’s best chances all came from the driving maul and Ben Brownlie rumbled over after 56 minutes for the only other try of the game. Dominant in both scrum and line out, Richmond hardly faltered, the substitutes playing their role in maintaining energy levels. There were plenty of candidates for Richmond’s man of the match, Goodrick-Clarke, Crawford and Liston outstanding in the forwards, Dennett playing his best game yet and Jones everywhere in attack and defence. However it was very much a team performance, all 22 contributing fully to a memorable win on the road.

Steve Hill, Richmond FC Director of Rugby, commented; ’This was our best team performance of the season so far. I thought in attack we looked sharp and spiky whilst in defence we stopped an excellent try scoring team from scoring any line break tries. The most impressive aspect was how we managed the conditions and our lead in the second half. Our on field leaders ensured we played the correct type of game to not allow our hosts back into the match. The challenge is now to take this momentum into next Saturday against Jersey.’