Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards made no attempt to conceal his joy at the ruthlessness of his side’s 41-0 thrashing of Bedford Blues on Friday night.
Sending a message against the side who had held the league leaders to an 11-6 margin when they met in a bad-tempered clash in the November rain, Richards said: “The boys didn’t need any motivation, especially after what happened down there in the away leg.
“I wouldn’t say there was bad blood after some of the things that went on around that match, but there was certainly a point to prove. We did a job on Bedford tonight, and there was a reason behind that.
“There was an atmosphere out there tonight, and to be honest with you a few of their boys were lucky to stay on the field.
“I’ll leave that up to the citing commissioner to have a look at, which I’m sure they will do, and it was a real shame that there appeared to be a few cheap shots going in.”
Praising his charges after their 22nd victory in a row, Richards added: “There was a class difference between the two sides, to be fair.
“Everyone played a part tonight, and I thought the boys were outstanding.
“Even the guys who came on played a really big role for us – Tim Swiel scoring with his first touch, for example – and Joel Hodgson doing well at scrum-half, to name just a couple.
“We looked at Bedford, appreciated where their strengths and weaknesses were and said let’s just go and take them on.
“We gave the boys absolute licence to just go for it, and they took full advantage. There was a gulf in class between the two packs, if I’m honest, and we built on that.”
Having got the match played while many others on the fixture list enjoyed no such fortune, Richards was philosophical about the prospect of further action as the club continues to adhere to government and RFU advice.
“Any decision that gets made regarding this season - you’d like to think it gets made for the right reasons,” he said.
“You’ve got to consider the safety of people, be it players, supporters, staff and everyone around the whole thing.
“What will be, will be. It’s not a great situation that any of us are in at the moment, but you have to trust that any decision will be made with the interests of safety foremost in mind.”