Director of rugby Dean Richards agreed it was the right decision to call a premature halt to Sunday’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash at Newport Gwent Dragons, his Newcastle Falcons side declared 18-6 winners despite 12 minutes of the match remaining.
Under tournament regulations the result still stands if a game is abandoned after an hour or more of play, Richards’ men battling to a third away win of the season in horrendous rain.
The Falcons’ boss said: “One of our players joked that we’d got to the deep end of the pool, and when you can’t see your ankles I think it’s time to give up! There were a couple of people swimming around by the end, and it was the right decision.
“To be fair to the Newport Gwent Dragons boys they worked incredibly hard to get the game on at all.
“It was touch-and-go before the game as to whether we would get any play, but they got it on and the boys saw it through. Yeah, the conditions weren’t great, but at the same time both teams tried to play and gave it a go in awful conditions.
“Everybody entered into the spirit of it in unbelievably tough conditions. Even in my own playing days I can’t remember many games in weather and on pitches like that, although to be fair I’d probably have loved every moment!”
Despite semi-final qualification having already been a mathematical impossibility before kick-off, Richards said: “You might say there’s not much we can learn on a day like this, but we will find bits to take out of it.
“We tried some bits and pieces, and our maul got going much better than it has been recently. Our next league game is at Sale Sharks, who are a good mauling side, and we had identified that as an area where we wanted to show some improvement.
“I thought our boys were outstanding on the day. Their discipline in the first half was incredibly good, and on the whole we did really, really well.
“There were one or two little accuracy issues from time to time, but it’s hard to lay too much blame for that when you consider what the players were facing in terms of the elements and the playing surface. On the whole we put the Dragons under quite a bit of pressure, but fair play to them for defending incredibly well against us.”