The final match of 2023 is upon us as the 1st XV are set to take on rivals Richmond at The Rock on Saturday.
The 1st XV have been in a rich vein of form in recent weeks which has catapulted them up into 4th in the table, just five points behind 3rd place Plymouth. The team will be coming into this weekend’s derby off the back of a run of five wins in six games, including back-to-back wins over Cinderford and Blackheath most recently. Impressively, across those five wins, the 1st XV have demonstrated both their attacking and defensive prowess, holding the opposition to an average of just 16.2 points scored whilst simultaneously picking up a try-bonus point in four of those outings.
Continuing this trend of holding opponents to low scores will be vital for Park on Saturday as we welcome a free-scoring Richmond to The Rock. Richmond find themselves in 7th place, just two points behind Birmingham Moseley and with a game in hand on 8th placed DMP. They have tallied the 4th most try-bonus points in the league, only behind the top two sides, Rams and Chinnor, as well as Taunton. Park are one of the few sides so far this season to prevent them from scoring four tries as the 1st XV emerged victorious from a thrilling contest at The RAG back in early September. That match saw a Charlie Walker brace as well as two late tries from Will Burton and Patrick Kelly help Park overcome a two-score deficit to grab a 24-31, bonus-point win.
With a storied history dating back to the 1890s, the South West London clash is not to be missed! The 1st XV will need to be in top form in order to overcome a Richmond side that is full of quality and ready to demonstrate it, expect an afternoon of fireworks on the pitch and plenty to enjoy off it.