Deano: 'That was for the fans'

Saturday 23 March 2019

Dean Richards dedicated Saturday’s St James’ Park triumph to the club’s supporters as Newcastle Falcons defeated Sale Sharks 22-17 in front of a crowd of 27,284.

A try from Toby Flood and the boot of Sonatane Takulua proved the difference as the Falcons recorded their third straight victory, Richards saying: “We enjoy playing here, the noise level is through the roof and that result today was dedicated to our supporters.

“They give us such great backing all throughout the year, they turned out in their numbers today and were incredibly supportive of the boys. They were unbelievable – absolutely unbelievable.”

Maintaining the three-point margin between themselves and Worcester going into the final five rounds of the season, Richards said: “They say momentum is everything in sport – we’ve won our last three games now and I wouldn’t want to be playing us if I was an opposition team.

“Winning is a habit and it’s one we’ve got ourselves into, and we’re doing alright. We set a target of five wins a few weeks ago and we’re three into that, and if we get another two then hopefully we’re somewhere near safe.

“A good team will go down this year because the Gallagher Premiership is made up of 12 good teams – I just hope it’s not us, and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure it isn’t.”

Bouncing back from 10-6 down at half-time, the Falcons boss insisted it was a case of ‘less is more’ during the interval debrief.

“We said very little at half-time, to be honest with you,” he said.

“The beauty about the squad that we’ve got here at the moment is that they sit down, they reflect and they try to put things right. More often than not it doesn’t take a coach to tell them – they know it themselves.

“There were a couple of things that weren’t quite right in the first half, we tidied it up at half-time and the players delivered in the second half. We got the points we needed, and all the credit goes to the players rather than the management.

“We probably made Sale look good in that first half – no disrespect to Sale because I have a lot of admiration for them.

“Through our exits, our kick-chase and a few other bits and pieces, we didn’t quite get it right, and a good side like Sale will make you pay for that. They punished us, we had a chat at half-time and the lads sorted it out. I’ve got a lot of admiration for the way they did it, and the credit is all theirs.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game comes on Friday April 12 when Leicester Tigers are the visitors. Tickets for the 7.45pm kick-off are available by clicking here.

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