Dean Richards says his Newcastle Falcons players carry fresh legs and clear heads with them into today’s Aviva Premiership crunch clash with London Irish.
The 3pm Kingston Park kick-off comes more than a fortnight after the Falcons’ last outing – Irish having been beaten eight as recently as eight days ago when Harlequins eliminated them from the European Challenge Cup.
Newcastle’s director of rugby said when asked if a weekend without a game would be help or hindrance: “It can sometimes be good or bad, but at the end of a 10-week block of Aviva Premiership games it was probably good that the boys had the break.
“Had we not then it could have been quite difficult, and the boys have come back refreshed and raring to go.”
The Falcons go into today’s encounter four points ahead of London Irish with just three rounds remaining, Richards well aware that every point could be crucial.
He said: “At Harlequins had we scored another try late on we would have had two bonus points which would have made a big difference, likewise with a late try conceded against Wasps to deny a bonus point and other recent games.
“We are conscious of that, what that extra point could mean, and we do understand what every scenario means. It is just understanding what we need to do to deliver the result on the day.”
Confident his players are in the right mental frame of mind for today’s vital match, Richards added: “It can play a part when you are in these battles.
“Oddly enough this week we have two sides who like to play rugby, and as a consequence what you will probably get is people trying to play positively. The club which shows the most composure will probably come away with the points.
“Our guys are all good players and they will all respond in the right way. It is the team who understands what it will take to get out there, show application but keep their cool heads, who will get the win.”
Tickets for today’s game are available by calling 0871 226 6060 or from the stadium ticket office in person.