Photo by Dave Rogers (Getty images)

Richards Content With Connacht Display As Preparations Gather Pace

Monday 26 August 2013

Dean Richards was in positive mood following Newcastle Falcons’ 23-10 victory over Connacht at Kingston Park on Saturday.

The Falcons saw off the RaboDirect Pro 12 outfit by virtue of two tries from Ryan Shortland and Andrew Higgins respectively, both finished off in clinical fashion.

And Richards, who now prepares his charges for this Friday’s final warm-up game of pre-season against Edinburgh Rugby at Hawick RFC, was satisfied with what he witnessed.

“We probably got out of it what we had hoped to,” said Richards.

“It was a shame it started to rain five minutes before the game kicked-off, but it was the same for both sides, and we handled it okay.

“These games are designed for dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.” he added.

No fewer than five new signings started the contest at the weekend with Phil Godman the other debutant who impressed off the bench in the second-half.

Raising the intensity after the break, the northeasterners hit the Irish province with two textbook scores in front of the South Stand. Godman and his fellow countryman Mike Blair were the architects at the heart of the backline with Richards eulogizing about his latest recruits.

“Phil Godman acquitted himself well, as did Mike Blair at scrum-half – and looking at the whole game I was happy with a number of guys,” said Richards.

He added: “Our execution was good up until the second or third phase, and then we started to rush things a little bit.

“A couple of times we got caught defensively, which we will address, but on the whole it wasn’t too bad.

“We could have scored a couple of tries, Connacht missed one or two themselves, and in the end the score was probably fair enough.”

Aviva Premiership rugby returns to Kingston Park in just over a week’s time with Bath the visitors to the North East.

Asked about the state of his squad ahead of the Premiership opener, Richards said: “Edinburgh away is the last chance to put things in place for the start of the Premiership, and what we will be looking for is a greater understanding of how to use the ball.

“At the moment we are rushing things a bit, and we need to have more patience when we are in possession.”

Tickets are available for the Bath game on Friday 6 September (kick-off 8pm) by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.

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