Dean Richards was in positive mood following last night’s 28-0 win at home to Bucharest Wolves in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
And although the Falcons boss is not getting carried away with the result, he admits it was a welcome triumph after a topsy turvy start to the year.
“It was an awful pitch to play on but the lads tried hard and played some decent rugby despite the conditions,” said Richards.
“We showed a lot of endeavour and we scored a lovely try to finish the game – Chris York’s pass to Tom Catterick for the try was spot on and overall there were some nice touches out there.
“I thought the boys picked themselves up for the game quite well after last week’s disappointment against Brive,” added the Falcons chief, whose side were unable to qualify for the quarter-finals by virtue of Brive’s comprehensive 31-9 thrashing of Calvisano.
A penalty try coupled with Ryan Shortland and Tom Catterick touchdowns sealed the win for the northeasterners with Ireland Under-20s hooker George McGuigan producing a man-of-the-match display.
Richards has been impressed with the academy product, saying: “We want to give him as much game time as possible and he’s certainly not let us down.
“Scott Lawson is obviously a quality player and that’s highlighted by his call-up to the Scotland training squad this week, but with Rob Vickers moving to loosehead and Matt Thompson out injured, it’s a great opportunity to give George a chance in the team.
“George is maturing into a quality player game by game, and the more game time he gets, the better he gets.”
The Falcons’ next home fixture is in the LV= Cup with Newport Gwent Dragons the visitors to Kingston Park on Friday 31 January (kick-off 7.45pm). Tickets are still available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.