Richards hails free-scoring Falcons

Sunday 4 December 2016

Dean Richards praised the scoring exploits of his Newcastle Falcons side following Sunday’s 38-22 Aviva Premiership try-fest against Harlequins.

The director of rugby, himself a former Quins boss, said: “It ebbed and flowed. We got so far in front and allowed them to come back into the game, which was a bit frustrating, but a touch of genius at the end from Tane Takulua put Marcus Watson over in the corner to seal it.

“On the day I thought our boys wanted it more, we stuck to script a little bit better than they did and as a consequence we got the result we wanted. Having said that, they are a dangerous side, as they showed in the final 10 to 15 minutes.

“We scored some peaches today, there was some lovely stuff out there and we just need to make sure we continue to play in that rich vein of form with the confidence we have shown in the past couple of weeks.”

Leading 21-8 at half-time but allowing the Londoners back into the contest, Richards said: “We were looking at our defence in the first 15 minutes, and their attack was something else. They didn’t give us any opportunities at all, but when they finally did we took it. We stemmed the flow, they sat back a little bit and once we had that opening with our attack the way it is at the moment, we capitalised.

“They made some unenforced errors which you wouldn’t expect them to make, and defensively they also made some errors where you’d look and say with better players further down the line, they might not make those errors. But you’ve got to play with what you’ve got, and we’ve also got 12 or 13 guys out.”

Tim Visser’s last-minute try handed his side the bonus points which kept them ahead of Newcastle in the standings, Richards saying: “There was always the danger of them scoring that try to get the bonus point, and we just took our foot off the gas during those final couple of minutes. But if you’d have asked us before the game if we’d have taken that result at the start of the day, I’d have been delighted with it.

“We were disappointed with the Exeter game in our last home outing, not just because we lost, but because we didn’t turn up on the day, but we have shown what we are about now. We showed a lot of guts, the boys stuck at it and the team is moving forward.

“The side is evolving – especially when you look at who we have got out injured. That gives you an idea of our strength in depth, compared to last year, and key people coming in like Niki Goneva, Evan Olmstead and guys like that are playing outstandingly well. Will Witty has been elevated all the way through from our academy to the first team and I thought he was outstanding today, Juan Pablo Socino is playing better than ever and it all makes a difference.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Sunday December 18 against French club Lyon in the European Challenge Cup. Tickets for the 3pm kick-off can be bought by calling 0871 226 6060 or by clicking here.

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