Newcastle Falcons are unchanged for this Sunday’s RFU Championship play-off semi-final second leg clash with Leeds Carnegie at Kingston Park as Dean Richards’ men look to overturn a five point aggregate deficit (kick-off 1.15pm).
The Falcons succumbed to a narrow 24-19 defeat against the Yorkshiremen at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday. An injury time penalty from Joe Ford, coupled with a Ryan Burrows touchdown gave Leeds the marginal advantage going into the make or break contest this weekend.
And Falcons boss Richards has given his troops the chance to put things right in front of what is expected to be a healthy crowd on Tyneside.
“The support has been fantastic throughout the season, and on Sunday they can play their part in what is a crucial game for the club,” Richards told Falcons TV.
“The crowd has been getting bigger and bigger throughout the week as interest for the match has grown through the media,” he added.
Reflecting on the Bank Holiday Monday loss, Richards said: “I was disappointed, frustrated and angrier if anything because we didn’t go out and play the way that we said we were going to play, and it cost us dearly.
“Disappointment is something that you can contain and work on, but you have to earn the right to be disappointed and the boys were angry with themselves for not performing.
“What we can’t do now is wallow in self-pity.”
Stunned by Leeds’ late show, Richards admits his troops have responded well in training throughout the week.
Richards said: “The boys have trained well this week, and we have looked at the bits and pieces that needed addressing, and we have worked on them.
“Hopefully we can get the result that we want this weekend.”
You can watch the Falcons v Leeds promo video on Falcons TV by clicking here.
You can also watch Richards’ full interview on Falcons TV by clicking here.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Warren Fury, 1 Jonny Golding, 2 Michael Mayhew, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Scott MacLeod, 5 James Hudson, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Scott Wilson, 18 Carlo del Fava, 19 Richard Mayhew, 20 Chris Pilgrim, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Jamie Helleur