Rugby Union: Leaders hit by 14-man assault

Richmond 30 Newcastle 17

THIS is not a corner of the world you would normally associate with blood, sweat and tears but yesterday Richmond provided all three by the bucket-load to produce one of the defining displays of the season.

Against all the odds - odds stacked even higher by the first-half sending off of their Welsh international Scott Quinnell - Richmond stripped Newcastle of their 100 per cent League record with a truly inspirational performance.

Quinnell was dispatched in the 24th minute after putting a knee into the Newcastle prop Paul Van-Zandvliet. Richmond, who had lost nine of their 14 League games, had already laid down the gauntlet and when Quinnell departed were deservedly leading 14-0.

Newcastle, whose only domestic defeat of the season had been to Northampton in the cup, weren't at the races. They were out-fought and out-thought and the anticipated backlash never materialised. If anything, Richmond raised their game and it was Newcastle who looked outnumbered.

The kick-off was put back by 10 minutes to accommodate the crowd (either that or for the corporate hospitality guests to finish their dessert) and the delay did nothing to cool the intent of the rival forwards. Quite the reverse. In the opening minutes, Craig Quinnell and Gary Armstrong were spoken to by the referee, Ed Morrison, and when Matt Pini took possession near the touchline, Nick Popplewell did his best to drive the full-back into the fourth row of the stand. Then Barry Williams and Doddie Weir were shown yellow cards after another incident.

Newcastle had not settled when Richmond hit them in the 10th minute with the first of their four tries. Spurning kicks at goal when they were awarded penalties, Richmond opted to attack from the line-out and when Adrian Davies delivered a flat pass to Jason Wright on the burst, the centre crashed over.

Wright had come in as a late replacement for the Lion Allan Bateman, who has a shin injury, and the biggest compliment that can be paid to Wright is that Bateman could not have taken it better.

Preferring another line-out to a penalty, Craig Gillies won possession and with Craig Quinnell leading the charge, the Newcastle pack was sufficiently preoccupied for Andy Moore to dart through a gap and score near the posts.

Newcastle did not know what had hit them and nor did Van-Zandvliet when he required treatment after receiving the attentions of Scott Quinnell. The culprit, himself, held his hands up after a word from Morrison and ran off the pitch with no complaint. Afterwards, Quinnell claimed that he had raised his knee after being punched. John Kingston, the Richmond coach, said he would look at the video today before deciding on his course of action. Such was the lack of drama over the incident that the crowd weren't sure what had happened.

Within seconds, Scott's brother almost went off in sympathy. Craig Quinnell knocked over Pat Lamb and received merely a ticking off. He could not have reacted better had it been a pep talk. On the stroke of half-time, big Craig, taking a pass on the short side after Newcastle had once again lost possession, blasted his way through four defenders. It had smash and grab written all over it and it typified Richmond's determination.

The London club, who led 22-3 at half-time, did not yield an inch in the second half. Indeed, they increased their lead. After Davies had kicked a penalty, the former Wales stand-off smartly gained a rebound from Armstrong, who failed to cleanly gather a high kick from Moore and fed an inside pass to Dominic Chapman. The left-wing sprinted over and, astonishingly, Richmond led 30-3.

Newcastle were awarded a penalty try in the 70th minute and got another through Tony Underwood but they could hardly be described as consolation scores.

Richmond: M Pini; S Brown, J Wright, E Va'a (M Deane, 35), D Chapman; A Davies, A Moore; D McFarland, B Williams, J Davies (D Crompton, 69), C Quinnell (A Codling, 74), C Gillies, B Clarke (capt), S Quinnell, R Hutton (R Martin, 64).

Newcastle: S Legg; J Naylor, V Tuigamala (M Shaw, 35), A Tait, T Underwood (J Wilkinson, 79); R Andrew, G Armstrong; N Popplewell, R Nesdale, P Van- Zandvliet, G Archer, D Weir, P Lam, D Ryan (capt), R Arnold (P Walton, 64).

Referee: E Morrison (Bristol)

Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate Sales Executive

17.5k + Commission (£18.5k after probation period): ESI Media: You will be res...

History Teacher

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are seeking a teacher o...

IT Teacher

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are seeking a suitably ...

Legal Cashier - Oxford

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Legal Cashier - Oxford We have an excellent ...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor