Dean Richards credited his entertainers after a pulsating night’s rugby saw Newcastle Falcons going down 34-30 to Wasps at Kingston Park Stadium.
An Aviva Premiership classic delivered talking points by the dozen as both sides gave it the kitchen sink in front of a season-high home crowd of 8,730, the Falcons taking a well-deserved pair of bonus points via captain Mark Wilson’s late try after earlier scores from Sonatane Takulua, Marcus Watson and Rob Vickers.
“Wasps are a good team, and you only have to look at their teamsheet to understand that,” said the director of rugby, whose side are in home action on Friday January 6 when Bath come to town.
“Wasps have a huge amount of flair and pace, and we took the game to them. We knew they were a team who wanted to play, and when you look at their back line you can see that. We knew it was going to be a pretty fast and frenetic, which is how it turned out.”
Crediting his side’s immense collective desire after an exhausting 80 minutes, the Falcons boss added: “The boys enjoy each other’s company and we have a great team spirit. That is really noticeable, and nobody wants to let their mate down.
“The guys are obviously disappointed with some of the elements of tonight’s game, but we will work on that with them. They are playing for each other, which is important, and we are playing a brand of rugby which excites people.
“We are scoring tries for fun, and that’s the nice thing. We just need to get that ‘W’ against these top teams.”
Currently two thirds of the way through a three-game run against the top teams in the division, Richards said: “We set our stall out to be competitive with the top-of-the-table teams, and one thing we have proven is that we are competitive. We have just got to nail the wins now.
“Last week at Saracens we had our chances to do that but we weren’t accurate enough, and this week we had our chances.
“In the first half we conceded two soft tries and gave away a couple of silly penalties, which helped get them back into it. But we are playing good rugby, even if we are a little disappointed with some of our accuracy. We are enjoying our rugby, but we would enjoy it a little bit more if we had got the win.”
Tickets for the Falcons’ next home assignment against Bath are available by calling 0871 226 6060, clicking here or from Kingston Park in person.