Ferocious Forwards earn Richards praise

Saturday 13 February 2016 Written by: Adam

Despite both of Friday’s tries coming from the backs in a fifth successive home win, it was the pack who enabled the first-half double through their set-piece and broken-field exertions.

The director of rugby said: “Our pack were outstanding. At half-time Andy Goode said we wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the boys up front and it continued in the second half, even with the disappointment of letting them in for a try. In the end, we got the result we wanted.”

Leading 20-9 at the break and extending their winning margin via a late Craig Willis penalty, Richards said: “I was pleased with the guys. We came in at half-time and said we had to just lay our bodies on the line again for another 40 minutes, but still be as constructive and disciplined.”

“In fairness I actually thought we lost that a little bit. Our discipline went at times in the second half, we lost a couple of line-outs at critical points, but we still made that physical commitment which was probably what saw us through.”

Tonga captain Nili Latu took man-of-the-match honours in another huge personal contribution, Richards saying: “Nili adds a huge amount to the side. One of the things he does do is bring a huge degree of belief, and when you couple that with what Andy Goode brings, the side is in a good place at this moment in time.”

With Sean Robinson and Mark Wilson again catching the eye in the second row, Richards added: “You have got boys in that Leicester squad who are probably spoken about as being higher up in the pecking order than our guys, but I don’t really see it.”

“Sean and Mark were both outstanding in the second-row. They were way above what Leicester were.”

Battling on from what he felt were some debatable early calls, the Falcons’ boss said: “We were siting bewildered in the coaches’ box by some of the decisions.

“On the first scrum their guy was crawling up the side yet we got penalised. You wonder why, but at the same time you have to grin and bear it and find a way to come through.”