The latest instalment of the oldest fixture in rugby union ended in an emphatic victory for Richmond as the Surrey side accumulated seven tries on this cool and breezy August afternoon at Well Hall.
A competitive opening period saw Blackheath, whose starting line-up included seven players new to Club colours this term, strike first as the hosts sniped around the fringes, before Joe Tarrant plunged across for a 5-0 lead on 23 minutes.
Richmond responded quickly as scrum-half Luc Jones found a gaping hole following some untidy line-out ball, and despite losing a man to the sin-bin the visitors managed to put left-wing Ben Rath in acres of space for a second score and a 12-5 lead at the break.
In the second period the greater strength of the Championship side took charge as Richmond drove former Club back-row Jesse Liston across, followed by tight-head Jake Parker, and although an interception try from Jake Lloyd briefly narrowed the deficit, further tries from second-row Harrison Edwards, right-wing John Woodward and full-back Rob Kirby put the visitors out of sight.
‘I was really happy with the first half,’ said James Shanahan. ‘We played some good stuff, held the ball well and kept our shape in both attack and defence. But for one lucky and one soft try we would have gone in at half-time ahead.’
‘Richmond’s Championship physicality came through in the second period though, and we fell off a few tackles and didn’t look after the ball well enough in attack.’
‘Bedford will be a different proposition next week and we’ll have to lift our game,’ continued the Club’s Head Coach.
‘It’s a tough pre-season, but it’s a tough start to the league. So we need it!’
Blackheath against Bedford Blues is a 3.00 pm kick-off at Well Hall next Saturday, before the 2017/18 National League One gets underway with the visit of one of the title favourites, Plymouth Albion, a week later.
Tries: Tarrant, Lloyd
Tries: Jones, Rath, Liston, Parker, Edwards, Woodward, Kirby
Conv: Kirby 2, Gabbitass