Director of rugby Dean Richards hailed his Newcastle Falcons battlers after Saturday’s 21-20 win at Bordeaux-Begles put them top of European Challenge Cup group one.
Tries from Ryan Burrows, Toby Flood and Jon Welsh edged a thrilling encounter, the director of rugby saying: “We knew that if we were accurate about things we had a chance of winning.
“We came in a little bit down at half-time but we just reiterated that if we were accurate the holes would open up for us to score. There were a couple of tries that went begging so we’re disappointed in some respects with the first half, but much happier with the second.
“Every game they’ve played this season Bordeaux have flown out of the blocks, and tonight was no different. They do it well, but it’s just having that longevity beyond 60 minutes that they struggle with. We knew that, we’d done our analysis and we just knew we had to stay in the game.”
Richards added: “There were a couple of times where we could have kicked penalties but we put it in the corner, we had patience and it was rewarded in the end.
“Our kicking under pressure was excellent and it was nice to have the left peg option of Josh Matavesi, who put a couple of brilliant kicks into the corner when it really mattered. To exit in that manner was something else, and he looked a classy player as we know he is.
“Guys like Gary Graham and Ryan Burrows were outstanding, and I think there’s still much more to come from Ryan. He’s a real talent but I know he has more to show, and he’s going to be a really good player for this club.
“Overall I’m happy, even though it was one of those that could have gone either way.
“We knew we were in with a chance when we were in the game with 15 minutes to go, and we did what we came to do.”