Richards largely happy with pre-season opener

Saturday 6 August 2016

Director of rugby Dean Richards said the middle 40 minutes of Saturday’s 50-12 win over Nottingham had pleased him, but admitted there was plenty to work on for his Newcastle Falcons side.

The pre-season opener at Darlington Mowden Park’s Northern Echo Arena saw the Falcons winning eight tries to two, building on a 14-5 half-time lead after conceding a try inside the opening two minutes.

Richards said: “It was hard work, but a decent result in the end. In the first 20 minutes we were a little bit frantic. We were all over the place but it was pretty good after that.

“Their first try was the most annoying because were weren’t quite at the races. It took us 20 minutes to settle down but, once we did, I thought we looked good. Nottingham scored a nice individual try at the end when we dropped off on the inside, but other than that we showed some good progress.

“During the first quarter we looked rusty, during the middle 40 minutes we looked good and the game became a bit disjointed towards the end. That middle half, so to speak, was what made me happiest, but it’s our first run-out of pre-season and there were always going to be things to work on.”

Pleased by the contribution of his summer signings, Richards said: “The new boys acquitted themselves well.

“Evan Olmstead had a strong half, Josh Chisanga carried hard, Ben Sowrey showed up well and it was nice to see Sinoti Sinoti looking so good. He has been working incredibly hard all summer after a horrendous year, he is virtually back to full fitness now and looking very sharp indeed.”

One downer for Richards was the injury which saw centre Adam Powell carried from the field just three minutes after coming on, the director of rugby stating: “Something happened to Adam’s knee and we will obviously have it looked at, but the initial impression is that it doesn’t look good.”

Newcastle Falcons are next in action on Saturday August 13 when they host Greene King IPA Championship finalists Doncaster Knights at Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 3pm). This match is included in the Falcons’ 2016-17 season ticket membership package. Non-season ticket members can gain entry for £20 premium seating, £10 standard seating or standing and £5 for under-16s. To book call 0871 226 6060.

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