Dean Richards praised his team for sticking to their guns in their 29-24 Aviva Premiership victory over Exeter Chiefs.
Director of Rugby Dean Richards hailed his team and the Kingston Park crowd for a strong performance that helped drive the Falcons to their first win of the Aviva Premiership season on Sunday.
Speaking after a thrilling match that saw the Falcons take four points from a team competing for second place in the league, Richards said: “It was a great game. We’ve been playing an exciting, attacking brand of rugby all season and I’m delighted we stuck to our guns in that respect.
“When you have a team like Exeter, who play an exciting brand of rugby with us playing good rugby it’s always going to be a good game, and I’m chuffed for the boys that we continued and didn’t just shut up shop.”
Back row Ally Hogg picked up a man of the match award for his unyielding performance in a game that saw the Falcons score three tries against an in-form Exeter team, but a strong team outing left Richards single out many of his team for praise.
“Exeter’s front row caused Quins a huge problem last week but I thought ours coped well with them. All of the second rows offered something and I thought Josh when he came on was outstanding and brought huge amounts of energy.
“Ruki played well, the back row did well, Noah put some big hits in; everyone had a good game. The pass that went in to Rob Hawkins for Noah’s try wasn’t great but the skill level of Rob to be able to pick that up and then the pass from him to Alex and from Alex to Noah were great.”
And Richards was equally quick to hand out praise to the Falcons’ 16th man on to the day too after the 4,216 strong Kingston Park played their part in helping to roar the team to victory.
“Our supporters were magnificent. Even when the game was still in the balance they got right behind the lads, and it was great to see on the final whistle that the players were able to enjoy the result with them.”
Coming into the game on the back of a long drought of results, the Falcons’ next job is to continue to build positive momentum in the weeks ahead.
“Yesterday wipes all of the cobwebs away. We have to string some results together now but this will definitely be a confidence boost. It should’ve been more like two if not three wins so far but we’ll take one out of five as we head into next week.
“It was more the way that we won today which is the most important thing. Gifting them two tries in the first half and then clawing a way back, only to go behind again was a bit disheartening for the boys but it was the way that we just acknowledged that there was a lot of space and a lot of areas for attack and then stuck to our guns in the second half, ran in two tries, got the penalty that we wanted and came out as winners.
“We had to work hard for all out our tries and we have to look closely at our discipline and defence, but I’m delighted for the boys because they worked hard and stuck at it.”
With next weekend’s fixture away to London Welsh having been billed a big game since the start of the season, Richards believes yesterday’s result puts his team in a strong position to head into the match.
“I know London Welsh have had a difficult few weeks but they are still a quality side who will have been pinpointing us as a key game. It will be their cup final, as it will be for us in some respects so we have to be prepared for that.
“Obviously though we’ll have a lot more confidence heading into that after beating a very good side like Exeter. The beauty of it is that we are scoring tries, but we are leaking a few too and that’s something we’ll work on this week.”
Next Saturday’s game against London Welsh kicks off at 2.30pm at the Kassam Stadium. The club, in association with Newcastle Falcons Supporters Club, will be running a coach trip to the game so please watch this space for further details.