Lightning weather the storm to clinch first round victory over Richmond
With Lightning opening play for the Tyrrells Premier 15s season, their clash with Richmond promised to be dramatic and the game did not disappoint.
Lightning looked dangerous from the offset and didn’t take long to take the lead from the boot of Daley-Mclean. After a prolonged period of pressure from the home side, Lightning’s dominant forwards were rewarded with a try from Sarah Hunter, after turning over the Richmond scrum. Daley-Mclean converted to take the lead to 10-0.
Continuous pressure from the Lightning forwards was again rewarded when numerous infringements at the scrum led to an inevitable penalty try, taking the score to 17-0 at into half time.
The second half proved to be much more dramatic, quick off the mark Lightning’s Sarah Hunter struck for her second try of the game for another push over scrum. Richmond retaliated quickly with a turn over, spreading the ball wide and dotted down for their first score of the game.
A turning point in the game for Lightning saw them receive a flurry of yellow cards reducing them to 11 players in the final 10 minutes of the game.
With four players in the bin for Lightning, Richmond turned up the heat, scoring twice and taking the final score to 22-19.
Following the win Head Coach Rhys Edwards said;
“We always knew that Richmond were going to come at us and be physical at the breakdown. We have a lot of take always from today’s match that we can put into place this week at training. Obviously having four yellow cards is not ideal, but the girls did well to see out the game and keep the win. We had a lot of young players out on the pitch today that really stepped up which is very exciting for the future, just proving our programme is working.”
Catch Lightning next in action at home on the 22nd September against Harlequins. Full fixtures here.
RICHMOND COMEBACK FAILS TO OVERCOME LIGHTNING
A three-point penalty was all that separated Richmond and Loughborough Lightning at the end of the opening game of the Premier 15s, as both sides crossed for three tries and two conversions. In truth, though, the story of this one could fill a Hollywood trilogy.
For the first 40, things looked ominous for Richmond, as Loughborough, led by new number 10 Katy McLean, dominated with the ball and territory, and punished Richmond at the breakdown. Scrum penalties were coming thick and fast, and it was no surprise that both first half tries came from 5m scrums getting shoved over – one Richmond scrum turned over, and one Lightning effort that ended in a penalty try. Add in McLean’s easy three points taken in front of the posts early on, and Richmond had a mountain to climb.
Every comeback needs a spark, and Richmond found theirs early in the second half, when a break from deep went through several sets of hands before Alicia McComish – impressive in defence and attack throughout – drew the last player and put Emelie Hellgren in for a certain try of the week contender. Lightning came back with a killer blow to put the score out to 22-5, and that looked to be that with 20 minutes remaining…
…but a raft of late yellow cards saw Lightning at one point reduced to 11 players, and Richmond took advantage with two tries, one penalty try and one short-range bulldozer from Libby Povey, to pull the score back to 22-19. One last roll of the dice went to ground, and Loughborough saw the clock out. A defeat, but a bonus point on the road, and for Richmond, it’s a chance to look at the positives and build a solid platform from which to launch their chaotic style of rugby next time out. So close to an epic win, but a brave defeat will do for now!
“We knew the first half would be tough”, said skipper Jade Knight after the game. “They’ve got a world class kicker and were going into the wind, and they came at us physically. Fair play, the girls came out blazing in the second half, and we kept it a lot tighter. I’m happy with that score – Loughborough finished fifth last season!”
|08/09/2018||12:00 pm||Premier 15s||2018-19|