Coventry journeyed to the Richmond Athletic Ground in the capital, as Alex Rae’s men went in search of another victory to continue their fine end-of-season form.
Despite the sunny weather both teams took a little while to warm up following kick-off, as neither could fashion any clear-cut chances in what proved to be a slightly scrappy opening 15 minutes of play. The deadlock would be broken by Will Lane though, as the scrum-half found a gap in the Richmond defence and went over under the posts. Mitchell added the 2 and made the score 7-0 to the visitors.
Shortly after, Cov had a second. Dodd picked up off the back of a scrum 5 metres out from the Richmond line, before offloading to Bainbridge, with the flanker dotting down on the whitewash. Mitchell kicked the extras, and Cov were 14-0 to the good.
Our hosts hit back not long before the half-time whistle though, as they got the maul rolling from a 5 metre lineout, with the backs pilling in too. Hooker Alex Post was the man who emerged holding the ball, and claiming the score. Fly-half Johnston duly slotted the additional 2 points on offer, and the teams went into the sheds with only a converted try between them.
HALF TIME: Richmond 7-14 Coventry
The second half proved to be as equally a tight affair as the first, with little separating Coventry and their London counterparts. Richmond added 3 points to the board on the 50 minute mark, as Cov were pinged in their 22m zone and Johnston pointed towards the posts. (10-14)
10 minutes later though, Cov would have their breakthrough. Following a Richmond clearance Alex Rae’s men opted to go wide, and, after some nice hands to move the ball out to the far side, James Martin found himself with space to run into and won the
race to the tryline. The conversion slipped wide, so the score remained at 10-19.
With just 5 minutes left on the clock, the RAG crowd was treated to a truly dramatic finish to the encounter. It began with Alex Burrage, replacement fly-half for Richmond, kicking a penalty from the tee to make it a six point game (13-19). Then, as Coventry were looking for their bonus-point score with only minutes to go, Zuriel Makele intercepted the ball on his own 5m line and ran the length of the pitch to dot down, much to the delight of the home fans. (18-19)
Fortunately from a Coventry point of view, Burrage’s conversion attempt edged just wide, and so Cov still had their nose in front. With less than a minute to play Cov won a crucial penalty shortly after the restart, and Will Talbot-Davies cooly slotted the 3 points to put the game beyond our hosts, and ensure Alex Rae’s men finished the season with a perfect record for games played in the capital.
FULL TIME: Richmond 18-22 Coventry
Thank you to all the travelling supporters that came to the RAG. We look forward to seeing you all at our final home game of the season, against Nottingham on Saturday the 22nd April.