Doncaster enter 2017 well-placed to achieve their ambition of competing again in the promotion play-offs.
The Castle Park club, who won their seventh league game by four tries to none against the Championship’s bottom team, have moved up to third place and have 36 points from 13 matches.
The festive period has been productive for the Knights with consecutive wins earning nine points, but momentum in the league will be lost for the next three weeks because of ties in the British & Irish Cup, two games against Munster A and then another South Yorkshire derby at Castle Park against Rotherham Titans.
It all means that Doncaster will not resume their Championship campaign until the end of this month when they confront Bedford at Goldington Road.
After a flat start against Richmond, two tries by centre Mat Clark in the first half, followed by two more from prop Robin Hislop and hooker Ben Hunter in the second, emphasised Doncaster’s positive use of possession against competitive opponents.
However, the London club could not match the skill and speed of Clark or the efficiency of the Doncaster pack, exemplified by Tongan international flanker Jack Ram, who has played provincial rugby in New Zealand, and by dual-registered lock Glen Young from Newcastle Falcons.
In a strong team performance overall, another individual stood out – centre and goal-kicker Dougie Flockhart, who struck four conversions and two penalties and, as a result, became Doncaster’s leading points’ scorer in league and cup competitions.
Flockhart has overtaken Rob Liley, who scored more than 1,000 points. Since the Scotsman first appeared at Doncaster in 2009, he has played in more than 180 games and has developed into one of the league’s most consistent performers.
As he looks ahead confidently, coach Clive Griffiths says: “To round off 2016 with two fantastic wins is great for the boys and we didn’t concede any tries in 160 minutes which takes some doing.
“In 2017, the aim now is to get into the play-offs and keep the excitement going.”
Doncaster Knights: Jarvis, Scanlon, Clark, Flockhart, Lewis, Cusack (Humberstone 56), Heaney (Edgerley 68), Hislop (List 58), Hunter, John (Quigley 68), Challinor (Taylor 67), Young, Ram (Makaafi 67), Hills (Bergmanas 78), Williams.
Richmond: Kirby, Woodward, Mitchell, McLean-Dents, Cheeseman, Damant (Lynn 76), Stuart (Gibbs 76), Cunnew (Tarrant 52), Grimstone (Saysell 66), Harden (Walford 65), Warden (Hotson 59), Corker, Peters, Allcock, Davies (Edwards 57).
Referee: Steve Lee.