Farnham v Richmond U15 Div 1 league match
A proper team performance with every member of the squad contributing to the win.
This was the team performance the coaching staff had been working on for a year and it finally arrived on the first league game of the season against an always competitive Richmond side. For the first time the squad played as a team rather than a disparate association of talented individuals and most crucially the forwards did their job to set up the win and the backs finished off their graft with a touch of class. However a dreadful start saw Richmond scoring straight from the kick off through their lighting quick right winger running around a sleeping Farnham cover. It did not bode well!
Rather than go into their shells the bad start appeared to motivate the team who hit back within 5 mins with the forwards winning a series of breakdowns before a well worked overlap on the right saw wing Tom Clark dot down for the score. At the restart Richmond tried to re-exert themselves but were soon on the back foot again as Farnham forward graft made space and room for the backs to finish. Tries followed from full back Tom Purnell and wing Archie Rawnsley, one from quick hands in the backs and the other after a powerful breakout by second row Connor De Voil smashing through the heart of the Richmond defence with his punt forward to the 22 being carried over the line. Both tries were converted by Fin Egan taking Farnham into a good lead at half time.
The second half saw the pattern continue as Richmond tried to dominate with a series of strong surges but were repeatedly rebuffed by the aggressive Farnham defence most notably Johnny Redford and Max Mitchel in the back row who chopped down their big running number 8 and sapped the confidence of the away team. After weathering a storm Farnham took control by developing a platform at ruck lineout and scrum where hooker Harry Jenkins ensured some decent ball and we witnessed some very classy handling in the backs . Oli Male’s quick feed at 9 to Tom McGinn pulling the strings at 10 for Robinson and Egan to set up the wingers found the away team struggling to cope. As Richmond tried to relieve the pressure their kicks landed into the hands of Farnham’s most allusive runner. Tom Purnell was simply too quick for the Richmond cover as he ghosted in for his second try and it could have been more. Richmond though have never been a team to lay down and they asserted themselves with a couple of tries of their own their own but their hearts were finally broken once McGinn jinked over to finish off strong forward drives by Max Davison, Ed McCredie, Elliott Cattermull and an ever supporting pack. The final whistle put the full stop on what was a proper team performance with every member of the squad contributing to the win and reminding us all why Rugby is the ultimate team sport.
Still much to work on but a very satisfying start to the league season.
By Rick Egan