Dean Richards hailed the never-say-die attitude of his Newcastle Falcons team on Saturday after watching them claim a bonus-point victory at nearest challengers Ealing.
Winning 26-14 in west London, the director of rugby said: “To be fair to Ealing they gave us a good game.
“Our line-out didn’t function on the day, we gave away a few silly penalties but defensively I thought we were really, really good.
“Their try was a possible obstruction in midfield but we’ll look at ourselves as to what we could have done better, and on the whole I thought our tries were outstanding.”
Richards added: “The boys acquitted themselves really well, dug deep and came away with a bonus-point win at one of the most difficult grounds that we’ve visited.
“There were a few disruptions with injuries etc like you get in any game, but once we got our composure I thought we did well.
“We finished strongly, which was key.
“We pride ourselves on being fitter than other teams, and Kev McShane runs a really good ship on that side of things for us.
“He pushes the boys well along with the other coaches, and from that side we think we have a bit of an edge.
“We just have to keep on going every game, and we’ll now move on to the Melrose game on December 28 to hopefully raise a load of money for Doddie Weir’s foundation.”
Tickets for that match are available by clicking here.