Director of rugby Steve Hill insists he has never seen a more spirited Richmond in his time at the helm than he did as they battled to a draw with Blackheath on Saturday, writes Robert Horgan.

With less than a minute on the clock Richmond were staring at an SSE National League One defeat as Blackheath led 31-24 thanks to a David Allen double and scores for Peter Homan and Matthew Shields.

But Hill’s men refused to lie down and after Harrison had dotted down, Rob Kirby held his nerve to kick the conversion to earn his side a draw.

And after battling right to the final whistle, Hill admits that his troops showed him something he has never witnessed before in his four years in charge.

“I'm really pleased for the guys to come back, we looked like we were dead and buried when we had a man in the bin and then they scored,” he said.

“And then with two minutes to go we messed up on the line and that allowed them into our half and it looked over.

“I just said to the guys, in the four years I've been at Richmond I've never seen a spirit that these guys demonstrated in that game.

“Last week up in Wharfedale, we played right to the end and we got the try that won us the game, and again we just wouldn't give up and if we continue to show that kind of spirit then we will get to a point where we're still in this league next year.

“It was important to come away with three points, rather than just one point and that might prove to be crucial in the upcoming weeks so we're very pleased with how the game ended.”

However, Hill admitted that the performance was far from perfect and that Richmond will need to tighten up in defence before the season is out.

“I'm disappointed in aspects of the performance,” he added.

“I thought our defence was the worst it's been in four weeks, and the guys themselves our disappointed with that because we've made some real improvements recently.

“For whatever reason we missed tackles, we got people in the wrong positions and we were not on top form.

“Blackheath played well but we gave them too many soft points and we'll need to address that before we go to Cinderford next week.

"That will be another massive game because they're in a position like us where neither of us are anywhere near safe yet.”

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