Defence  proved Richmond's most potent form of attack according to director of rugby Steve Hill after watching his side demolish Henley Hawks on Saturday.

Richmond’s nine try 54-5 romp put them top of the National Division One table for a few hours before the conclusion of the later kick-offs elsewhere left them in fourth place - one point behind the second and third teams and four behind leaders Hartpury College.

"It sounds slightly bizarre, but this fifty point win was based solidly on our best defensive performance of the season," said Hill.

"Our discipline at the breakdown and speed off the line totally nullified any attacking threat from the opposition.

"Having established a solid lead by half time we said really good teams carry on scoring and carry on stopping the opposition scoring. It was very satisfying to see the team achieve both."

A late injury enforced change at hooker was the only squad change to the team who won so well at Cinderford.

Despite the 1pm start, Richmond were quickly into their stride and Andy Hall opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a penalty for offside.

Two minutes later, Charlie Broughton scored the first try, Chris Davies running back a hopeful kick and breaking the defensive line with surprising ease before the number eight showed his experience, looking up and delaying his pass till the winger was at full speed outside him.

The home side could have added several more in the following fifteen minutes, several chances being well created without being finished off.

Finally, just before the half hour, Hall kicked well to the corner, Lenygon soared to secure possession and Man of the Match Jack Allcock was at the back of the driving maul to get the touchdown.

With the score 13-0, Henley looked to be in for a salutary afternoon but they temporarily broke Richmond’s grip in the following three minutes with their only try.

An initial attack in the 22 was well stopped by Broughton but the Hawks retained possession well and finally worked some space for full back Will Robinson, on loan from London Welsh.

The full back still had plenty to do but he stepped his way through two tackles to reach the line and open his side’s scoring. The straightforward conversion miss rather summed up the rest of the Hawks’ afternoon.

The outstanding Davies set up the next Richmond try, stealing line out ball and forcing a penalty.

Jamie Gibbs tapped and scampered and the number eight took the pass to score his first try, converted by Hall.

There was one more try before half time. Richmond maintained pressure really well, when an initial score was disallowed, and Gibbs probed the defences, with the forwards running off him, till Seb Adeniran-Olule found a gap to crash over for his first try of the season. 

With their bonus point secured, Richmond could relax a little in the second half but they maintained concentration well.

The Hawks did raise their game somewhat to secure more territory, mostly through the boot of James Comben, but Richmond’s aggressive defence simply forced them back ten to fifteen metres each time the ball was spread.

Number eight Robbie Stapley battled gamely but his side never looked like adding a second score.

Home skipper Will Warden was always at the heart of the defence and the force of the tackling left Henley bereft of attacking ideas.

The fifth try was one of the best, Davies setting up Broughton on the right for another rampaging run to the 22, before play was switched, the backs using the full width of the pitch to put Adam Gadsby in at the left corner.

Henley countered from the kick off and worked their way to the 22 but when the ball went loose, Broughton seized possession, found Hall on his shoulder and the full back in turn sent in Cameron Mitchell to the posts for the sixth try, converted by Hall.

The hint of a forward pass in the move did nothing to lift Henley spirits.

Linked by livewire Sam Stuart and the ever-reliable Rory Damant, the Richmond centres looked full of running and there was too much pace for Henley, despite the loss of Gadsby who pulled up lame chasing his kick ahead.

The back row never stopped running and Tom Sargeant deservedly got the next try, securing five metre line out ball before being driven over by his pack.

Davies added the eighth as the forwards pounded the line and the remaining question was whether Richmond would exceed fifty points.

Rob Kirby kicked beautifully for the corner and once again the forwards did the basics really well, securing possession before combining in well practiced mode to power to the line. Allcock was appropriately the final scorer.

Team: A.Hall( R.Kirby), C.Broughton, C.Mitchell, R.McLean-Dents, A,Gadsby, R.Damant, J.Gibbs(S.Stuart), T.Walford, R.Cowan (A.Post), S.North(S.Adeniran-Olule), W.Warden, C.Lenygon, T.Sargeant (J.Thompson), C.Davies, J.Allcock.