Richmond took another step towards the National League One title last weekend, but director of rugby Steve Hill admitted it could have been different.

A 29-12 win over Loughborough Students, featuring tries from Jack Allcock, Henry Cheeseman and Charlie Broughton, and 14 points from Rob Kirby’s boot, kept Richmond 10 points clear at the top with three games to play.

They go to second place Hartpury College this weekend knowing a win of any kind will seal the climb into the Championship.

Hill said: “We knew Loughborough would be a tough match.

“Losing our fly half in the first few minutes and then having to play a flanker on the wing due to more injuries could have derailed us.

“But I thought Rory Lynn did a cracking job when he came on at 10 and I thought that Kirby and Broughton, who were brought back for this game, responded exactly as was required.”

He added: “We now need to focus on the huge challenge which is presented by Hartpury.”