In their first league match of the season, the Highlanders lost out to a strong Richmond team, which included six first teamers returning from injury. The Highlanders suffered with injuries, but came back with three late tries to cheer the welcome Scottish support.
Scottish dominated the early play and pushed a penalty kick wide, but the Richmond defence held firm. When Richmond broke out, Okoye had to leave the field with a deep head gash and the Richmond winger opened the scoring on the quarter hour. Richmond added a second try eight minutes later. Clapperton came off on the half hour with knee ligament damage, but Scottish defended stoutly until a mistake at half-back undid the good work to let in a soft score. Richmond then broke away to score a fourth try on half-time.
The second half started evenly, but then Richmond utilised their strength in the centre and pace on the wing to score three tries in quick succession. Scottish dug in and duly got their reward, when Buncle touched down from a line-out drive. A second try soon followed from Jones cutting a great line to speed in from thirty metres. Russell finished off some fine backs interplay to complete the scoring in a rousing finale for Scottish.
Team: 15 Robbie Fotheringham; 14 Mark Oliveria, 13 Liam Russell, 12 Dan Sanders, 11 Aaron Perrin; 10 Adam Webber, 9 Aaron Clapperton; 8 Edwin Okoye, 7 Fraser Millar, 6 Richard Lamb; 5 Luke Thompson, 4 Gavin Calder; 3 Paul Webster, 2 James Buncle (capt), 1. David Greene.
Replacements: Elliot Fallon, Grufford Jones, Oliver Blazey, Mark Canning, Alvise Faraon
Tries: Buncle, Jones, Russell; Conversion: Webber.
Scoring sequence: 0-5 (15 mins), 0-12 (23), 0-17 (40), 0-22 (40+4); 0-27 (45), 0-32 (46), 0-37 (48), 5-37 (65), 12-37 (68), 17-37 (73).
Conditions: Hot and sunny. Pitch hard.