Richmond director of rugby remains a happy man in the face of defeat

Wimbledon Guardian: Try man: Will Browne breaks through the Esher lines to score for Richmond      SP73028 Try man: Will Browne breaks through the Esher lines to score for Richmond SP73028

Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill applauded his charges despite finishing their home season in National League One with a 36-17 defeat to Esher.

With one game remaining, at Wharfedale this weekend, Richmond are seventh in the table although defeat on Saturday could drop Hill's side to 10th.

Richmond made six changes to their starting line up, including three in the back row and two at half back.

The late replacement of hooker Jason Phipps was an extra blow, though all the replacements contributed well and evidenced the depth of quality in the squad.

On the bench, ex-Richmond colt Tom Smallbone, now with London Irish, made his debut.

Chris Davies, James Greenwood and Will Browne bagged the Richmond tries, while Tom Platt kicked a single conversion.

Hill said: "I was really pleased with the chances we created but the players know we have to convert each opportunity if we are to beat such a strong side as Esher.

Wimbledon Guardian: Juliano Fiori

Richmond's Juliano Fiori is about to be hauled to the ground    SP73028

"After a difficult start, I was really pleased how we fought back and put them under pressure.

"We still have a good amount to learn to beat the top teams at this level but I could not fault our application or energy this afternoon."

He added: "To finish off our home season on a glorious afternoon, in front of more than 1,100 spectators, and playing with such ambition is terrific testament to what this club is about."

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