Richmond 36, Fylde 0
Head coach Mark Nelson has targeted five away wins as a pleasing return for their successful National One campaign – but they have only one more chance to secure that fifth win on the road after this miserable trip to London.
Having won their first two away fixtures of the season, Fylde have lost 10 out of 12 since and Nelson admits they were chasing shadows on Saturday.
Richmond were treading water near the bottom of SSE National League One just two months ago – but six wins from their last eight games have seen them surge up the table.
And Fylde were ruthlessly exposed by the division’s form team as Duncan Peters, John Attlee and Harison Edwards all powered over the whitewash in the first 15 minutes.
Attlee added his second before the break but Nelson’s troops started the second half with more gusto, threatening the home side’s line from the start.
Richmond stood firm, however, fighting their way back up to the other end where referee Robert Warburton had no option but to award a penalty try.
To make matters worse Fylde had a forward yellow-carded in both halves – Ben Vernon for persistent offside and Daniel Birchall for striking the opposition.
But Nelson believes the game was won and lost in the opening period, when Richmond’s lightning start caught his side cold.
“We really didn’t start the game with any possession and they capitalised on the possession they had,” he said.
“They got into it and we knew it would be tough to pull it back. In the second half we regrouped and the performance was better.
“Sometimes in sport, and we have been there before when times are tough, you have just got to take it on the chin.
“From their perspective, they won the first two kick-offs and went forward. They played the game we generally play and we just couldn’t get the ball back.
“From there we were just playing catch-up. It was just one of those games where nothing we did seemed to come off.”
Fylde were without the injured Tom Burtonwood and the unavailable Steve McGinnis but at least were able to welcome back scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe after injury.
Fylde’s final chance to record a further away win is at Blaydon on Saturday week, in what could prove a crunch clash in the race for fourth.
Nelson will first be looking to consolidate fourth spot at home to struggling Henley this weekend.
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Fylde: Viney (Lawton 60); Rath, Briers, Barrow, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe (Webb 62); Griffiths, Rylance (Maher 62), Lewis (Thompson 62), Arnold, Beaumont, Robinson, Vernon (Birchall 53), Stewart.