Yorkshire Carnegie made it six wins in six games in the Greene King Championship with a 28-22 victory against Richmond RUFC with tries from Stevie McColl, George Watkins and Peter Lucock.

The home side made a number of changes from the Hartpury game, with Stevie McColl moving to full back and Louis Brown and Tom Casson coming into the backs division due to the suspension of Chris Elder. Joe Buckle would also replace Harry Newborn at hooker with Kevin Bryce coming in as a prop replacement for James Thraves.

The games’ opening saw both Yorkshire and Richmond careless in possession but strong forward play from the Yorkshire pack relieved early pressure for the home side who held firm until the 15th minute when Stevie McColl’s pass found the hands of Rory Damant who in turn found his winger Jono Woodward to give Richmond a 5-0 lead.

The opening territory enjoyed by Richmond and their early lead proved to be short lived however, as Yorkshire answered back within three minutes of going behind.

With their first real foray into the Richmond half, Alex Davies put his fly half Peter Lucock through a gap to touch down giving Carnegie their first foothold in the game as Davies then converted to restore parity at 7-7 after 18 minutes.

Richmond’s game plan to pin Carnegie into their own 22 meters meant that Carnegie had to be solid under the lineout in the opening half an hour, but each time the home side answered and through breaks from Lucock and Louis Brown Yorkshire began to look threatening with the ball in hand.

Carnegie had to wait a further 10 minutes to take the lead for the first time when their driving maul proved too much for Richmond to cope with.

The away side conceded a penalty near to their line for pulling down the maul before finally succumbing to a penalty try for the same infringement moments later with Chris Davies seeing yellow for his part in the play.

Yorkshire then enjoyed their best part of the game with another try this time through full back Stevie McColl. Carnegie exploited another gap in the defence which was capitalised on through forward Marc Thomas who broke and played an inside ball to McColl to score his first of the game giving Carnegie 19-7 lead on 35 minutes.

With half time beckoning Yorkshire managed to seal the bonus point win before the break as George Watkins intercepted a Richmond pass on his own 40 meters and found himself in open space to sprint home untouched to give Carnegie a commanding 28-7 lead following a successful Alex Davies conversion.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Richmond commanding the early field position and territory inside the Carnegie half. Richmond would also score first in the half bringing the scores back to 28-14 through a solo effort from Rory Damant, who scurried over from 10 meters despite a lot of attention from the Carnegie defence.

Yorkshire were then forced to make their first changes of the game as Alex Davies left the field replaced by Will Homer, the scrum half needing medial attention for a head injury, before Trystan Lloyd also entered the action four minutes later on 48 minutes in place of Mayhew.

Carnegie then succumbed to another try to set up another intense finish at Emerald Headingley through full back Rob Kirby. Despite tough efforts in defence from Yorkshire, Richmond winger Simpson-Heft picked up a loose ball in broken play and found his full back Kirby to score in the corner leaving himself a difficult kick.

Kirby missed the conversion leaving the scores at 28-19, but it was Richmond once again who controlled possession with a rising penalty count against Carnegie – the home side struggling to make any inroads into their opponents half in the second period.

Following a number of phases for Richmond the visitors opted to bring the game within a losing bonus point when they won a penalty on 68 minutes, Kirby making no mistake in front of the posts. Carnegie were reduced to 14 men moments before when Richard Beck was shown yellow for an infringement in the ruck area.

Despite more pressure and chances for Richmond to capitalise on the extra man in the final minutes, Carnegie managed to fend off their opponents and secure a hard fought win maintaining their third place position in the Greene King Championship with a bonus point win.