After a less than spectacular display against Sutton & Epsom a few weeks earlier it was a much more accomplished performance by the Academy away at Richmond in our opening cup match.
With a number of returnees, this was a more balanced squad that took to the pitch at the Athletic Ground. However it was not the most encouraging of starts as the host’s early pressure was rewarded with a try and conversion (7-0). It was taking a while for the Academy players to get into the game; not helped by continually having to absorb wave after wave of Richmond attacks. Thankfully however our defence was up to the task and Richmond were unable to add to their tally. The Academy then hit a purple -patch closing off the half with three unanswered tries (7-19).
So the question was whether this momentum could be sustained in the second half. It took 10 minutes of what was becoming an increasingly combative game for the Academy to add to their tally, (7-26). However once off the mark we then ran in a succession of tries; racking up the points. It was not, however, all one-way traffic. But Richmond’s continuing attacks were absorbed by the Academy’s defensive wall. Inevitably however as the game drew to a close, the host’s pressure was rewarded with two concluding tries. Final score 19-45.
Final postscript. Big shout out to Simeon who was in full pitch side medic mode to assist a Richmond player who went down awkwardly and ultimately ended up having a ride in an ambulance for a precautionary scan. We wish the player all the best and hope he is back up again and playing soon.