Richmond 3-32 Saracens: Visitors earn bonus points as Mark McCall’s star-studded side continues to seek promotion back to the Premiership
- Saracens raised their bid to get out of the championship with a convincing win
- Sarries came 3-0 and scored 32 unanswered runs in the win on Sunday
- Jamie George returned for the fallen giants after a wretched Six Nations rally
When Jamie George takes the Lions tour this summer, the tourists’ flight to South Africa will fly straight over Richmond’s Athletic Ground.
Here he continued his quest on Sunday to make a second journey on the back of a terrible English Six Nations and with the lowest championship season to find form.
However, he was not focused on that, as the fate of the Saracens was still uncertain after a loss on the opening day against Cornish Pirates.
Jamie George (center) was on the scoresheet when Saracens defeated Richmond on Sunday afternoon
Saracens continue their quest for promotion with 32-3 bonus points in Richmond
George scored in the win, off a rolling maul, while Sarries took the time to score a bonus point win that brought them fourth on the table.
“Some people have said the future of this club will drive for the next few games – you don’t get more pressure than that,” said the English hooker, whose cousin Tom was Richmond captain for years, afterward.
‘I loved it. There is no crowds in the Six Nations either! Although quite a few sledging was aimed at me, but it’s all fun and play. ‘
Geographically, this was as close to Twickenham as you can get below the top tier, but as a world apart from the Six Nations.
The pagoda of Kew Gardens protruded beyond the trees beyond the beautifully striped field as the wind whistled around open ground on three sides.
Playing against a semi-professional outfit – with coffee shop owners, trading brokers and financial analysts among their ranks, who had just two 90-minute post-work training sessions to prepare this week – would always be strange to Saracens, who are fighting for return to the Premiership.
Manu Vunipola appears to be starting an attack for Sarries at the Athletic Ground on Sunday afternoon
Despite all the 240 caps of experience, two Lions, multiple European Cup and Grand Slam winners, they hardly all had their way.
George’s lineouts were picked three times in the first half by slot Freddie Hosking, the accountant; his sums are incorrect.
Perhaps former Saracens chairman Nigel Wray, watching from behind his signature dark glasses, could have used the second row in Richmond to organize his co-investments that saw his club so spectacularly break the salary cap.
Richmond enjoyed the game of their lives early on. Back-rower Myles Scott – or ‘Big Sexy’ as he’s apparently called – broke to his heart’s content and also gained sales.
Vincent Koch, the South African World Cup winner, gave away an early penalty kicked off by fly-half Ted Landray after an epic siege.
Fly-half Ted Landray kicked Richmond into an early 3-0 lead after Sarries conceded a penalty
It would be the only points that Richmond took, but they fought well, dragging Sarries into a fight in which it took them 66 minutes to seal the bonus point.
Two rolling maul tries, one slippery move to send Rotimi Segun in, Andy Christie’s individual effort, and a Ralph Adams-Hale short biff were enough for the win despite Alex Day’s sin.
“We’re not above this,” said Sarries boss Mark McCall, yelling, “go get them!” during.
“We all started in places like this – we have no shame in coming to these places.”
Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall (center) kept both feet on the ground despite their lofty goals
With both the undefeated Doncaster and Ealing Trailfinders in April for Saracens, the fight continues.
“The biggest regret is that we didn’t have 4,000 people here,” said the proud Richmond boss Steve Hill, whose players will be back at their desks Monday morning.
“But if Saracens finish third, we’ll have 4,000 here next season!”