Richards praises Falcons' first-half effort

Saturday 14 December 2019

Director of rugby Dean Richards praised his side’s first-half performance as Newcastle Falcons secured top seeding in the Championship Cup with a 38-7 home win over Jersey Reds.

Saturday’s victory extended the Falcons’ winning streak to 12 games, Newcastle scoring four tries before the break.

“I thought we were good in the first half – really clinical, took our chances and secured the bonus point before half-time,” said Richards.

"In the second half there were a lot of changes and it became disjointed, Jersey brought on some of their better players and it evened things up a little bit.”

Offering his verdict on the second half, the Falcons boss added: “I wouldn’t say I was disappointed but it was a bit fractious and we didn’t quite have same clinical edge that we’d shown in the opening 40.

“Understanding the wind at Kingston Park is key to winning games here, and at times some of our boys looked as if they’d never played here before.

“We didn’t play the conditions particularly well on some occasions, although in fairness I thought Toby Flood did manage the kicking game well and got us into the right areas.

“That’s the experience that he has got, although as a collective we probably didn’t quite master the elements and we tried to play too much in the wrong areas. When you do that it just doesn’t quite work.”

Allowing a late try to their visitors, Richards said: “I was disappointed we conceded a try, but at the same time you have to understand that these things happen.

“It came from a driving maul, which our guys won’t be happy with, but we’ll look at that during the week and try to see where it went wrong from our side.

“Still, it’s another step taken in the competition, we’ve got top seeding for the knockout rounds and then a big game in the league down at Ealing on Saturday.

“We need to make sure we’re on top form for that one because they’re a decent side.

“Whatever happens we’ll stay top, but it’s a big game in terms of us just wanting to prove ourselves against a good team.

“I’m confident that no matter what happens next week we’ll be top at the end of the season, and you’ve got to have that confidence. I don’t think it’s arrogance, it’s just wanting to pit your wits against the stronger sides in the competition and having that desire to come out on top.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday December 28 when a Falcons XV hosts Melrose in the Doddie’s Club Trophy. Tickets for the 3pm kick-off are available by clicking here.

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