Richards credits squad for Edinburgh triumph

Saturday 11 September 2021

Director of rugby Dean Richards expressed satisfaction at Newcastle Falcons’ performance as they completed an unbeaten pre-season campaign with Saturday’s 26-10 victory at Edinburgh.

Tries from Louis Schreuder, George McGuigan, Ollie Lindsay-Hague and George Wacokecoke were enough to secure the victory, building on previous wins at Glasgow (7-12) and at home to Doncaster (33-29).

Speaking after the first ever game at the new Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, Richards said: “It was a good performance from the boys and I was happy with a lot of what we did.

“The stand-out thing for me was our ability to keep going from the first minute until the last.

“We haven’t shown that in our other pre-season games to the same extent, and then our attacking principles as well.

“We’d set our stall out to play a certain way, which we did do, and our understanding of how to play the conditions was better than it has been.”

Repelling repeated attacks from the home side, the Falcons boss said of his side’s defence: “Edinburgh had spells of pressure near our own line and we held firm for the most part, but it won’t be that easy against Harlequins next Sunday.

“It was Edinburgh’s first hit-out today so they were probably a little bit rusty, whereas against Harlequins it will be a different kettle of fish altogether.

“In attack we also missed some opportunities so it was by no means the perfect performance, but I’m pleased enough with it.

“There’s a lot more to come, but at the same time we’ve put in a good showing.”

Repeating his mantra of performance over results, he joked: “I always say the results don’t matter in pre-season games, so for me it’s probably the worst thing in the world to go and win all three!

“All joking aside it’s good for the boys because it’ll give them a lot of confidence going into the opening Gallagher Premiership fixture, but pre-season is all about how you perform and the things that you put in place for the games that really matter.

“A lot of the young boys have had some great opportunities during these games which will also stand them in great stead, and when you think we finished today’s game with an academy 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 – it’s not a bad position to be in.”

Buoyed by a sizeable away following, Richards added: “It was great to see so many travelling supporters up here backing the boys, and I’d like to thank everyone who made the journey up.

“We hope to see as many of them as possible next Sunday for the Harlequins, and it’s something we don’t take for granted having played for so long without fans inside the grounds.”

Tickets for the Gallagher Premiership opener at home to Harlequins on Sunday September 19 are available by clicking here.

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