HENLEY BULLS were left licking their wounds following a nine-try blitz from a physically dominant Richmond side in Saturday’s Zoo
HENLEY BULLS were left licking their wounds following a nine-try blitz from a physically dominant Richmond side in Saturday’s Zoo Shield encounter at Dry Leas.
The Bulls started with some vigour, harassing the Richmond 15 and forcing several turn-overs of possession which resulted in them taking an early 5-0 lead as they counterattacked through fly-half Jake Elias down the right wing and Tom Gardner eventually sending winger Conor Corrigan in for the opening try.
Richmond began to dominate the lighter Bulls pack at the scrum, forcing untidy possession at best for Mark Bruce to deal with and gaining territory and quality second phase possession through their pack which included six players with National League 1 experience. They soon responded with three first half tries and took a comfortable 19-5 half-time lead.
The Bulls did put together several phases of play and the back line looked threatening at times through Si Perry and Ed Yarnton’s strong running only for their support to be stripped of possession and counter-rucked all too often by the Vikings.
The Bulls were further handicapped by the loss of experienced number eight James Bloxham with a facial injury and in-form prop Harry Jackson with a back injury as the first half elapsed making it much harder to compete at the set-piece as the Vikings’ weight advantage took effect.
During the second half a further six tries from Richmond were only interrupted by a determined individual effort from Ed Yarnton who side-stepped and stretched to touch down for the Bulls’ second try alleviating the onslaught for a short period.
For all Richmond’s dominance and quality there was a determined effort from the young Bulls to keep the Vikings at bay with Dan Barnes doing well to quell one attack with a burst out of his own 22 and makeshift number eight Rob Wright clearing the lines under pressure at the base of the scrum on several occasions.
Henley Bulls: Harry Jackson, Ian Brown, Sam Beckett, Theo Vukasinovic, Rob Smith, Rob Wright, Liam Trinder, James Bloxham, Mark Bruce, Jake Elias, Si Perry, Dan Barnes, Tom Gardner, Conor Corrigan, Ed Yarnton. Replacements all used: Ross Lewis, Ross Gilbert, Harry Challoner, Spencer Goggin.