Director of rugby Dean Richards says watching the game among the supporters on the South Stand has given him a fresh perspective as Newcastle Falcons look to attack the remainder of the season.
The Falcons boss is serving out the final match of his three-game suspension when Saracens visit Kingston Park Stadium on Saturday, with Richards having taken up a position on the terraces during the club’s last home outing.
“Aside from the obvious disappointment of not being able to be involved with the team stuff on match-day, I’ve actually really enjoyed getting a different perspective on things,” he said.
“I stood in the South Stand with the supporters behind the posts for our game against Bath, and I’ve always wanted to watch a game from the terraces there.
“I actually loved the experience, I thought the atmosphere was great and it just reinforced what fantastic support we’ve got up here.”
Richards added: “It also reminded me how knowledgeable our supporters are.
“Sometimes you see or hear things from the crowd on a match-day, and you don’t quite understand where they’re coming from because they’re not watching the game in great detail on a laptop screen with all the replays, like we do in the coaches’ box.
“There’s sometimes a feeling that the supporters don’t see things in the same way that we as coaches see them, but from being on the terraces with them and hearing the comments, it’s actually made me appreciate how well they pick things up.
“It might sometimes take a little longer to reach the same end point because they’re watching the game from behind the posts without access to all the replays or perhaps the ref comms if they don’t have the earpiece in, and they’re a really knowledgeable crowd.
“In many ways that shouldn’t come as a surprise, but for us as coaches who are used to being in our box with all the different feeds and information coming in, I think it’s something we don’t normally get to see first-hand.”
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