Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill would not have been surprise if his men had come away from Hull Ionians on the wrong end of the result on Saturday.

But as it was, Richmond returned from the long trip north with five points and a three point advantage at the top of the National Division One table to start 2016 in style.

Tries from Tom Sargeant, captain Will Warden, Jamie Thompson, Sam Stuart and number eight Chris Davies secured an emphatic 37-13 win in north Humberside.

And Hill was delighted with his team's efforts after a two week Christmas lay off.

"This was a terrific performance by the whole squad," he said.

"I thought the pack were tremendous - all our front row forwards showed their mettle against tough opponents.

"At open-side Jamie Thompson has come into the side and really impressed.

"As a team we defended superbly and made it really difficult for the hosts to get any go forward.

"The long trip, the Christmas break, the recent weather and the heavy pitch all pointed towards a really tricky fixture, so to come away with a five league point win is great start to 2016."

After a week of continuous rain, the pitch at Brantingham Park was squelchy, but very playable and the rain mostly relented for the afternoon.

Richmond kicked off and were soon in their stride, Rob Kirby converting two early penalties created by continuous pressure in the home 22.

The Ionians’ pack are a big unit and must have fancied their chances in the heavy conditions, but Richmond showed from the first scrum that they were not going to be dominated.

With their hooker additionally straying throughout with his line out throwing, Hull had little possession in the first 20 minutes and Richmond looked certain to extend their lead until a penalty for crossing halted momentum.

However, in the 21st minute, Hull finally worked their way into the Richmond 22 and, when Chris Davies picked up at the back of the scrum, they were round very quickly to turn over possession and win a penalty, converted by Isaac Green.

Three minutes later, Richmond extended their lead with their opening try.

The Ionians knocked on at a line out and, with referee James Clarke signalling advantage, Thompson seized the loose ball.

The hard working flanker made good ground to the 22 before timing a perfect pass to the speeding Tom Sargeant, who completed his seventh try of the season and the thirty-third for the prolific back row.

Just five minutes later, Richmond added a second try.

It started at a line out thirty metres out and the tight forwards, Timmy Walford and Charlie Lenygon to the fore, handled well to breech the initial defensive line.

Spotting a gap, Rory Damant , playing his 50th game, ran straight and drew the last man before sending skipper Will Warden cantering in under the posts. Rob Kirby, who had fielded some steepling high kicks with confidence, added the conversion.

Hull have scored a lot of their tries through the weight and power of their forwards from close in but Richmond negated some of the impact by not engaging the maul.

However, just before half time, the Yorkshire side got a good rumble going from a line out after a scrum penalty and Joe Sanders claimed the try.

With the wind strengthening, Richmond kicked out on the full to give their opponents another chance to set up the drive.

However, Hull again had no answer as the visitors opted not to engage. After eight minutes of the half, Richmond added their third try and ironically this stemmed from a model driving maul as the forwards made twenty metres at pace and forced a penalty.

From the five metre line out, the forwards secured possession and efficiently heaved over, Thompson the scorer.

Richmond looked in full control at this moment but a loose line kick after a penalty gave away possession and when the ball was hoofed up to the heavens, it was dropped deep in the 22 and a player went offside retrieving it. Ionians now kicked to the corner and drove over with precision, Joe Makin getting the touch.

With their half backs getting fifty metres with their clearance kicks and the pack now fired up, Phil Eggleshaw and Laurence Cowen to the fore, Ionians still looked in the game.

But Richmond are now a confident and combative side and they pulled well away in the last twenty minutes.

After a long period of pressure, Davies flipped a ball out of a five metre scrum and Sam Stuart found a big defensive hole on the blindside to complete the fourth try and earn the bonus point. Kirby’s conversion took the score to 13-30.

One more try followed, a well drilled line out routine sending Rory Lynn running at the heart of the defence before the ball was recycled and Davies got the try, crashing over for his thirteenth try of the season.

Sadly, there was time for a Hull Ionians red card as frustration bubbled over, but it was not representative of a hard fought game and a tough forward battle, decisively edged by the excellent Richmond pack.