Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards was happy to see his side come through unscathed against Bedford Blues to set-up a tantalising British and Irish Cup final with Leinster.
The Falcons sealed their place in the showpiece occasion with an 18-15 victory, but the score line could have been much more handsome had it not been for a late flurry of tries from Bedford.
Reduced to 14-men by virtue of Jordi Pasqualin’s sin-bin with six minutes to left on the clock, the Goldington Road outfit very nearly took full advantage with two tries in quick succession making it a tense finish to the contest.
Speaking after the game, Richards said: “For 70-odd minutes we were in total control and I had brought on my entire bench because it looked like we had done the job.
“All of a sudden we were forced to put guys out of position and it almost cost us.
“The floodgates opened, and it was a worry.
“However, it is not something we are going to panic about, because for the overwhelming majority of the afternoon we were in total control.
“Our defence coped during the times when Bedford had possession and field position and they didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.”
The Falcons face Leinster in the final at Kingston Park on Friday 17 May.