Skills coach Mark Laycock praised the impact of Newcastle Falcons’ bench following Friday night’s 50-10 Championship Cup win over Hartpury.
The Falcons led 10-0 at half-time but powered away in the closing third of the game, Laycock saying: “Fair play to Hartpury – they were pretty robust during the whole game and it was only during the last 20 minutes that we were able to open up a little bit.
“I thought our bench boys did well when they came on.
“Often when you have a load of changes in a game it can sometimes disrupt the flow of things, but that wasn’t the case tonight and they really kept the momentum up.
“Once we started to score some more tries towards the end you could see the confidence that was generated, and our individual strength and fitness came to the fore a bit more.
“With my academy hat on it was great to see some of the lads coming through and making an impact, and I guess this season is an opportunity to give them some more exposure so that they’re ready when we’re hopefully playing in the top flight.”
Scoring two early tries but then failing to add to their tally until after the interval, Laycock revealed there was a clear message dished out at the break.
He said: “One of the big disruptions during the first half was losing our starting half-backs with Floody going off with a head-knock and Tane being sin-binned, and we suffered for about 15 minutes after that.
“When we got in at half-time there were some pretty stern words said about what we were trying to do, because we were playing out the back too much and playing right into their hands.
“We talked at half-time about being much more direct, having more of a front-line focus to dent them and then beat them by going the same way again. That seemed to make a difference.
“Overall, it’s great to get a big score on the board, but I don’t think it fully reflected the game as a whole and I feel like we’ve still got a lot more to give.”