Richmond climbed to the top of National League 1 after a resounding 52-7 victory over Hull Ionians in Rob Kirby’s 150th match for the club.

The ever reliable Kirby scored two tries and kicked five conversions in a terrific haul of 20 points to help Richmond claim their fourth win of the season and remain unbeaten in 2019/20.

On a windy afternoon in Hull, it was Kirby who opened the scoring in the first minute of the match, finishing off a spectacular attacking play to kick-start the Richmond momentum. He converted his own try and the visitors raced to an early 7-0 lead.

From there it took Richmond another 28 minutes to extend their lead, with the visiting club struggling to control the match, giving away a number of off-side infringements, and allowing Hull to retain possession. Finally in the 29th minute, debutant Giles Bromley-Martin sliced through a gap in the Hull defence before linking up with Kirby who crossed for his second try of the afternoon. Kirby slotted the conversion and Richmond held a two try lead.

Five minutes later and Richmond were over for their third try through number eight Jake Parker. The experienced forward was on the end of an outstanding Richmond scrum, which powerfully drove its way over the Hull line to make it a 21 point game.

With the half-time whistle fast approaching the Richmond forwards were at their dominant best once more. This time building a string of consistent phases, with Toby Saysell crashing his way through the Hull defence to give the visitors the bonus point try and a 26 point lead at the break.

The second half began with the home side building confidence and composure. They worked their way close to the Richmond line, and through a rampaging forward display, hooker Ben Stephenson barged his way over to score. It gave Hull a glimmer of hope with the deficit reduced to 19 points.

Richmond were determined to not let Hull gather any kind of momentum with their fifth try coming in the 52nd minute. A beautiful attacking play from the base of the scrum, along with quick hands down the wing, led to Tom Pashley scoring his first try of the season. Kirby converted once more and Richmond skipped to a 33-7 lead.

With Hull’s confidence shot and with Richmond eyeing their fourth win on the bounce, the visitors powered their way to three further tries, through wing Hamish Graham, replacement scrum-half Toby Dabell and Toby Saysell who crossed for his second of the match.

The 52-7 victory catapults Richmond to the top of National League 1 and sets up a mouth-watering clash against the unbeaten RAMS next Saturday.

Director of Rugby Steve Hill said: “We are very pleased with this away result. In the end we took our chances extremely well. It was great to see Rob Kirby contribute 22 points in his 150th appearance for the club. However we are fully aware of the challenge we face against a very strong RAMS outfit next week and will need to improve in a number of areas.”