Cinderford RFC: Foresters are 'in a dogfight' after Richmond defeat
Richmond 55 Cinderford 20
AFTER CINDERFORD fell to their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday, boss Andy Deacon admitted his side were already in a dogfight.
History repeated itself at Richmond Athletic Ground where last year the Foresters were thrashed 53-20.
This season Cinderford leaked seven tries and two penalties, while wasting opportunities they had earned to make their mark on the game.
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The hosts ran riot in the second half while Cinderford's game was marred by mistakes.
Injuries are also taking their toll, as 14 players are now suffering with knocks and bruises.
Director of rugby Deacon said: "At half-time we spoke about keeping the ball and engaging them early as opposed to going too wide too soon.
"But we lost the kick off and didn't see the ball for 30 minutes. They went down to 13 men and we still didn't manage to reduce the deficit.
"And for the second year running, we've had 50 points put on us at Richmond. It is very disappointing.
"We have standout players, but we're not on form, they're making wrong decisions.
"I've got to be harsh with the guys. We're five games in and we're in a dogfight already, which is disappointing."
It was a bright opening ten minutes for the visitors, and they made their mark on the scoreboard in the fifth minute.
After a period of pressure deep in the Richmond 22, the hosts were penalised and the penalty was booted by scrum-half Reece Boughton, still on kicking duty with regular fly-half Mark Davies sidelined with a back injury.
But Richmond came back strongly , fly-half Rob Kirby touching down from a driving maul after an inaccurate kick at the restart.
With a conversion by Tom Platt, Richmond were 7-3 ahead after just eight minutes.
From another well-executed Richmond set-piece, Sam Reynolds scored a pushover try less than ten minutes later, and Cinderford were under real pressure.
But they reacted well with some effective phase play. Top-scorer, winger Nev Codlin, was unlucky not to ground the ball in the final 10 minutes of the first half, after a chip-and-chase effort.
Richmond were penalised for offside, and from a five-metre scrum Finlay Sinclair smashed over just before the break, with the arrears reduced to 17-13.
Cinderford almost took the lead, as Codlin's pacy, smart run and kick could have been grounded by Wilcox, were it not for an unlucky bounce of the ball.
But in the second half, Richmond steamrollered past the Forester's defence again and again.
Within three minutes of the restart Richmond were 24-13 up as speedy winger James Greenwood danced past Cinderford's missed tackles for the first of his three tries.
Things went from bad to worse as Wilcox was binned for being offside in midfield, a dubious decision contested by boss Deacon.
Playing against 14 men, Richmond were on a roll.
Greenwood scored another try from well-worked phase play - his second and the hosts' fourth - before the Richmond scrum-half Jamie Gibbs was also binned.
The tireless Boughton was replaced by Danny Pointon, while Worcester Warriors academy's Harry Casson took a blow to the head and was replaced by Will Keenan and try-scorer Sinclair was replaced by Ryan Charles.
Richmond kept the ball wide against 14-man Cinderford for Greenwood to score his third try, despite full-back Stef Hawley's best efforts to ground him.
With the score at 38-13, loan recruit Will Davis replaced prop Chris Bundy and Wilcox came back after ten minutes in the bin.
Cinderford made the most of having 15 men on the pitch.
After a period of intense pressure, scrum-half Paul Nash was binned for coming in from the side in the ruck, and from the resulting scrum, skipper and skilful number eight George Evans smashed over just before the final 10 minutes.
Wilcox, taking on kicking duty, added the extras.
But Richmond struck back immediately, and Cinderford barely saw the ball again.
The Foresters were pinged for coming up in the scrum, and the prominent Kirby kicked the penalty.
From the restart Cinderford pressed forward, but winger Lloyd Stapleton missed a chance to score after he was muscled into touch.
The Foresters fluffed the resulting five-metre line-out, and lost possession. Frustration boiled over, and Elliot Booley was sin- binned for fighting.
With just a few minutes left, Richmond ran in two more converted tries.
Captain Will Warden made an outstanding run before offloading to replacement Greg Drew to crash over, before Kirby consolidated his man-of-the-match credentials.
Catching his own chipped kick he ran to the line, offloading to James Falconer who sprinted through near the posts.
Just like last year's 53-20 thrashing, this will be a game to learn from and quickly forget.
RICHMOND: T Platt (P Nash, 59), W Browne, N Moore, J Crossley (J Falconer), J Greenwood, R Kirby, J Gibbs, J Gethings (J Cunnew, 43), D Simmons (D Gregory), D Parkinson, W Warden (C), C Davies, T George (C Legylon, 67), S Reynolds, H Edwards
CINDERFORD: S Hawley, N Codlin (C Hawkins, 59), S Hanks, B Davies, L Stapleton, M Wilcox, Reece Boughton (D Pointon) C Bundy (W Davis), F Sinclair (C Ryan), E Booley, H Casson (W Keenan), E King, G Mills, M Brown, G Evans (C)
REFEREE: Andrew Rawson
STAR MAN: George Evans