Richmond head coach turns his attention to a vital January

Wimbledon Guardian: Tough day: Richmond struggle to make headway in the derby clash against Rosslyn Park                Picture: David Whittam Tough day: Richmond struggle to make headway in the derby clash against Rosslyn Park Picture: David Whittam

By Tom Ede

Director of rugby Steve Hill has already cast his mind beyond the Christmas break, as Richmond look to push clear of the bottom three in SSE National League One.

Richmond missed the chance to head into the festive period with three straight wins when they were beaten by title-chasing Rosslyn Park 28-7 on Saturday.

However, December was a good month for Hill’s side as they had already beaten mid-table Loughborough Students and struggling Fylde to sit four points clear of the drop zone.

And when they return in January a trip to high-flying Coventry is followed by a pair of potentially season-defining clashes according to Hill.

“January is absolutely huge for us,” said Hill. “We have got Hull and Cinderford, who are both in the bottom third with us.

“I think the guys are looking forward to a bit of a break. We haven’t had a Saturday off since the second of September.

“The biggest influence has been the number of injuries that we have had. I have never had a season like it and it has been very frustrating.

“We are doing an awful lot of things right but we have got to try and get over the line in those tight games. We have been playing much better of late so I think we are heading in the right direction.

“The guys have decided themselves that they could do a bit more of the conditioning. We don’t normally do that over the Christmas period but they have decided to do that.”

The defeat to Rosslyn Park was a disappointing end to the calendar year, but Hill was happy to accept they came up against one of the league’s best sides on top form.

“The conditions were appalling and given the conditions both sides put on a pretty good display,” he added. “It was going to be a game where the team that made the least number of errors would come out on top.

“We gave away too many needless points and it was a day when we very much had to hold onto it. I thought we matched them in many departments but their defence was very well organised.

“I don’t think our guys will be too disappointed because the performance in many areas was very strong.

“The guys put in a hell of a lot of work against a very good side – you can see why they are second in the league.”

SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to


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