Scots drowned out

Richmond 54 London Scottish 13
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The Independent Online
Another Second Division match and another half century, their third in the Courage League this season, life rolls on smoothly for Richmond. But at times it was difficult to know what mattered more to them, victory over their co-tenants, London Scottish, or the volume of the infernal music that signalled every try (Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll) and every successful goal kick by Simon Mason (Roy Orbison's It's Over).

They certainly won the battle of the decibels. All London Scottish had to cheer on their men were four talented pipers. Needless to say a near- capacity crowd, which hovered around the 5,000 mark, was easily able to blot out the rare skirl which marked a Scottish score. Much as, ultimately, Richmond were able to snuff out what resistance their opponents offered.

While Richmond certainly have all the razzmatazz, it remains to be seen whether they have the pizzazz to stay with the best of League One. While their forwards were far superior and the backs in a league apart, notably Allan Bateman, in whom they have a centre of the highest quality, their game was littered with unforced errors. One perfect - or should that be imperfect? - example was Jim Fallon's spilling of a certain scoring pass from Mason in the 70th minute.

There was a casual air about Richmond and the clutch of VIPs in the stand, including sprinter Linford Christie, Welsh selectors Geoff Evans and Terry Cobner and Scotland's Richie Dixon, cannot have been impressed with the frequency of spilled passes and wasted ball. By the end when Richmond were running in tries seemingly at will, it was as much their superior fitness as talent that was the telling factor.

All the same, up front the Quinnell brothers, Scott and Craig, looked a class act and the backs showed far more imagination and opportunism, as illustrated by their seven tries. But the Scots did not give up. John Steele at fly-half kept them moving forward with telling kicks but there was just not enough power in the pack and vision out wide to turn what little possession they had into points.

Richmond, second in League Two, are destined for greater things, there is no doubt about that. But they will have to sort out the finer points of their game as well as the basic skills and rid themselves of their silly errors. No amount of money can correct that; success lies in the players' hands.

Richmond: S Mason; J Fallon, A Bateman, S Cottrell, M Hutton; A Davies, A Moore; D McFarland, B Moore, D Crompton, C Quinnell (L Jones, 75), R West, B Clarke (capt), R Leach, S Quinnell.

London Scottish: N Robinson (J Hamilton 38-44); T Watson, E Rayner, M Furnley, G Turner; J Steele, D Millard; J Baird, J McLelland, P Burnell, S Griffiths, A Jackson, M Duthie, S Holmes (capt), C Tarbuck.

Referee: J Wallis (Bridgwater).