Where: Grey Lynn Park
When: Saturday 9 April 2016
Game one against local rival Marist Saints of the 2016 Fox Memorial Shield was a nervous yet exciting match for our 2016 Premier team. The squad had trained throughout the preseason and were finally putting a team together week commencing to take on a formidable team that had finished strong in the 2015 Fox Memorial Shield.
A few nervous drop ball errors in the opening two sets did not bode well from Richmond's starting props however the team defensively stuck strong in the opening exchanges to grind and match the big Marist forward pack. Marist scored three tries in quick succession to lead Richmond 16 to 0 with minutes to play in the first half before Richmond kicked for the corner for high flying winger David Dyer to collect and distribute for Richmond's first points for the day. Going in to 16 - 4 half time deficit coach Bernie Perenara would have had a stern talk about building pressure, completing sets on attack and working hard defensively around the ruck area. Richmond were very much in the game and needed settling as the 'new' kids on the block.
Marist started the opening minutes of the second half with a hiss and a roar posting tries out wide before Richmond posted its next try 24-12. Marist replied hastily to stretch out to a 42-12 lead before Richmond responded with a late try 42-18 with ten minutes to go. Marist went back on cruise control to stretch out 54-18 before Richmond scored late in the game ending its first round Fox Memorial game 54-24 to Marist.
Richmond had performed well in patches especially from strong hit ups from its forward pack. It is back to the drawing board for the team however the club supporters are confident that the early season jitters are now out and the team are committed to putting in a much better performance at training this week as they prepare for its first away game against Otahuhu Leopards.
1: Matiu Stone-Dunn
2: Andrew Kake
3: Lee Latoa