Deano praises spirit after Rec raid
Mark Wilson’s try and Joel Hodgson’s conversion swayed a see-saw game in Newcastle’s direction, Richards saying afterwards: “We came out like a train and I think a lot of that was down to the time the boys spent together in America last week, understanding each other a little bit better.
“We went a little bit off-script 10 to 15 minutes before half time and allowed them back into the game, then for the first 20 minutes of the second half we fell off a cliff.
“Finally we realised what we were about and started to stick to the plan a bit more, and we pulled it back, but at 32-19 down it seemed a heck of an ask.”
Asked what the key to victory was after a middle third to forget, the Newcastle boss said: “We threw on all the subs who we have so much confidence in, and they turned it round.
“Big Trevor Davison and Samo Mavinga were popping up with line-breaks, Joel Hodgson held his nerve with the crucial kick and we dug very deep for that result.
“The character we showed was immense, as it was against Sale to win it at the death a fortnight ago. We’re a team who persevere, and you can see how close the guys are as a group to fight like that.”
Sat in a play-off berth but refusing to buy into the hype, Richards said: “We’re three out of four at the moment but we’re not getting carried away.
“We’ve got a huge game with London Irish at Kingston Park on Friday which is absolutely essential if we are to continue making progress, and it will be a big week for the boys building up to it. You can’t just turn up in this league and there’s a lot of work to be done.”