Park took the honours against their near neighbours and rivals Richmond at the Athletic Ground on Friday evening, running in four second-half tries en-route to securing a convincing 44-6 triumph.
On a brisk night in south-west London in front of a 500+ strong crowd, the hosts started the brighter, with the wet underfoot conditions determining a game plan based around the short ball.
Happy to soak up both the elements and the early pressure, Park remained patient and were rewarded with a cracking opening score.
Dave Vincent timed his run into midfield perfectly, slicing open the Richmond defence with Neville Edwards and the returning Adam Field outside him. As the ‘Mond defence desperately backtracked, Field took full advantage, sidestepping his man and crashing over for the opening score.
Adam Field breaks to score Park's first try
Undeterred, Richmond continued to work the phases and should have been on the board a few minutes later. Chris Surman broke clear ten metres out but, with men either side of him bearing down on the whitewash, refused to release the ball and ran straight into the covering Edwards.
Rob Kirby’s penalty eventually got the scoreboard moving for Steve Hill’s team moments after, but Park were to deliver another excellent try.
Mark Ireland’s purposeful carry took him deep into the red-zone, splitting the Richmond defence. Moving wide quickly, skipper Hugo Ellis intelligently engineered a 2v1 situation, with Field once again profiting to hand the visitors a 15-3 lead at the interval.
No way through for Mark Ireland
For all the ball Richmond enjoyed in the opening 40 minutes, Park enjoyed almost complete control after the break.
A second Kirby penalty was all Richmond had to show for their efforts, with Park delivering their most complete 40 minutes of rugby this season.
Ireland and Edwards combined to put away Vincent for the first of his four tries on the night with Ellis driving over from close range for the bonus-point score – his 16th of the campaign.
Despite plenty of endeavour and commitment, Richmond were now struggling to contain a rampant Park. Kiba Richard’s surge to the line was halted a metre out, but Vincent was on hand to dive over and the same man scored twice in two minutes at the death.
Carter and Field combined in the five metre channel to hand Vincent with a simple finish for the hat-trick, before a lighting Edwards break saw Richmond run out of defenders, and Vincent race in from just inside the ‘Mond half to complete the scoring and cap a nigh on complete performance from the men in red and white.
The 5-point win takes Rosslyn Park into second place in National 1 after Coventry’s defeat by Esher. This Saturday Park entertain basement club Macclesfield at Priory Lane, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Aaron Liffchak halted by the Richmond defence
Rosslyn Park: Edwards; Field, Ireland, Mackey, Vincent; Sneddon; Carter; Liffchak, Woolstencroft, MacKenzie; Inglis, Bowley; Shires, Northcote-Green, Ellis.
Subs: Bellamy, Lundberg, Macfarlane, Whelan, Richrds.
Park scorers: Vincent (4T), Field (2T), Ellis (T), Sneddon (P, 3C)
February 17, 2015