Cardinals re emerge and post pleasing first win of new season
As a prelude to the main event, Esher Cardinals took their own early KO spoils in the double header derby this afternoon. Both teams fielded strong starting lineups, reflecting the strength in depth at each club. Fine conditions gave the opportunity to run the ball and the powerful Olima caused problems popping up in midfield early on, disrupting the defence on more than one occasion. As the early pressure increased, it was Esher who took the first points from a DeFranck penalty to the left of the posts 30 metres out.
What followed was a long spell defending in Esher's 22. Phase after phase was thwarted until a gap opened close to the line allowing the lead to reverse 5-3 to Richmond.
Late in the half, with territory now regained, strong team cohesion saw a well orchestrated try from See wide to the right of the posts, sublimely converted by the debutant DeFranck.
5-10 at the break, Esher with their tails up early in the second half, had another penalty in front of the posts just pushed wide - Aren't the easy ones are the hardest? A further penalty nudged Esher more than a score ahead, but Richmonds repost was to up the tempo a notch and a well worked play resulted in their second try of the afternoon. The hard running Wood was everywhere all afternoon, and both he and Harding both broke the Richmond lines at will as the game went on. Howells and Drye were both unlucky not to score late on after patient build ups in the Richmond 22.
A Richmond breakaway from their own lines just before the end resulted in a difficult bounce for the chasing replacement 9 and the resulting knock on allowed Esher to relieve the pressure and take their first 'W' of the season.
Tries : See
Con: De Franck
1.Mount 2. Harding 3. Coutts 4. Drye 5. Edwards 6. Gossington 7. Wodd 8. Smart (c)
9. Chalcraft 10. De Franck 11 Olima 12. See 13. Howells 14 Curtis 15. Strange
16. Pellet (for Coutts 60) 17. LaFond (for Strange 65)