Dean Richards disappointed with result, but not personnel in Kings of the North opener
Director of rugby Dean Richards praised scrum-half Dan Taylor after the teenager claimed man of the match honours on his Newcastle Falcons debut.
Taylor played 75 minutes of the Falcons' 36-22 loss to Sale Sharks on Sunday having put in a full 80 the day before for Tynedale, the former Durham School pupil a bundle of energy throughout.
Richards said: “In terms of what it means for the future of the club, I think we are in good, safe hands."
“We had lost four scrum-halves, then Harry Bassett came in and dislocated his shoulder in the first five minutes."
“Dan came on, having played a full 80 minutes for Tynedale the day before, and he was absolutely outstanding."
“He fully deserved his man of the match award, and to play that amount of rugby in two days goes totally against what all the GPS people say is possible.”
Despite the number of players not available for selection Richards was nonetheless disappointed to kick off the inaugural Kings of the North competition with a defeat, saying:
“The result does matter and you never want to lose, but there was still a lot we could take from the game."
“We are at that stage of the year where performance is the main thing, but I am not someone who ever likes to lose."
“We had 20-odd people unavailable due to injuries and international call-ups, so there were a lot of young boys given their chance."
“They acquitted themselves well, although obviously there were some disappointing aspects which we will look at."
“We leaked too many tries, a little like last season."
“Having said that, when you have guys coming in very late in the day it is difficult to get them into the system we are aiming to play."
“The important thing is we have a good crop of youngsters here, and they are showing up well.”
Richards added: “Sale only had three guys unavailable and we had more than 20 away."
“In a lot of respects some people might say that makes it a moral victory, but you always put that one side. The score that counts is on the board, but there was a lot of good to come from the game for us."
“Lads like Brett Connon and Craig Willis stood up. The back-row acquitted themselves well with Joe Nayacavou and Dave Fairbrother on trial, and in the second-row Sean Robinson and Calum Green played really well."
“We have players on trial and players stepping in from elsewhere. It is all well and good watching them in training, but you have to see them play if you want to make proper judgements on them."
“Some of the worst trainers I've known down the years have been some of the best players, and we need to see them in game conditions to learn more of what they are about.”
For more from Dean, click here for his short chat with Falcons TV