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Deano praises character after late winner

Saturday 1 December 2018

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards credited the never-say-die qualities of his side after Saturday's 16-14 victory at Northampton Saints.

A tension-filled Gallagher Premiership clash was decided by Mark Wilson's try and Toby Flood's conversion with the clock well past 80 minutes in a repeat of last season's Franklin's Gardens triumph.

Richards said: "Nobody likes to lose, but it was probably a bit of a robbery if we're totally honest about it.

"Northampton will be thinking they'd done enough to win the game but you have to take your chances, and that's what we did at the end.

"One thing you know with this Newcastle team is that if we're in with a chance on the last play of the game, you'd back us more often than not to do it.

"We've done it time and time again, we did it here in similar circumstances last season and we just don't know when we're beaten."

Heaping praise on the collective grit of his troops in what was their sixth successive win over the Saints, Richards said: "There's a huge amount of resolve in that changing room, the boys have an incredible team spirit and you can't put a price on that.

"Yes, we got a lot of things wrong during the game, but provided we're within a score going into that 80th minute the sheer nature of the boys means they'll find a way to fight their way through it.

"Brett Connon's penalty near the end was really important for us in getting us within a score, and then when Niki Goneva went close in the right corner maybe some people thought that was us done. But we just won't lie down, I'm so proud of the spirit after that moment, and we found a way.

"Ultimately we got ourselves down to near their try-line, we probably should have had a penalty try before then if we're honest about it but in a way I'm glad that the game was decided by a proper try.

"Northampton conceded four or five red-zone penalties during that spell and you just felt something had to give, which happily it did."

Not concerning himself overly with the Premiership standings, he added: "We're not looking at the league table.

"We don't feel we're going to be down there in March or April, and that's not through arrogance on our part, it's just a genuine belief within the group that we have the quality to pull away if we keep the momentum going."

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