Scott Lawson on the attack at BT Murrayfield

Richards happy with unbeaten pre-season

Friday 26 August 2016

Director of rugby Dean Richards was happy with most of what he saw during Friday’s 26-21 triumph at Edinburgh as his Newcastle Falcons team completed their unbeaten pre-season.

Setting themselves up perfectly for Friday’s Aviva Premiership opener with Sale Sharks at Kingston Park Stadium, tries from Chris Harris, Evan Olmstead, Zach Kibirige and Callum Chick secured a dramatic late victory at BT Murrayfield.

A philosophical Richards said: “We will take bits and pieces from it – the good, the bad and the ugly if you like.

“The good thing is that when we stick to the script and play how we want to play, we create a lot of opportunities. When we go off-script we find it more difficult.”

Vereniki Goneva and Opeti Fonua were among the debutants to impress, while Olmstead and Kibirige both extended their personal try-scoring run to three in three games.

The Falcons’ boss said: “It was interesting and encouraging in many ways.

“The boys coming in acquitted themselves well. Evan, Niki and Opeti were all very physical. Obviously Opeti needs more game time and more conditioning, but I was really pleased with what he produced when he was on. He adds something different, something we have not had for a while, and he gave us that go-forward and physical presence that we wanted.”

Completing a run of four wins from four after defeating Nottingham, Doncaster and Gala, Richards added: “Last season we would probably not have won that game.

“As much as results are not always the only consideration in pre-season, what it does do is make sure our confidence is high going into the Aviva Premiership.

“That can’t be a bad thing, and I would also like to thank our supporters for travelling in such great numbers and really making themselves heard. I thought they were absolutely outstanding and really spurred on the lads.”

Tickets for Friday’s home opener with Sale Sharks (kick-off 8pm) are available by calling 0871 226 6060 or clicking here.

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