Richards credits Falcons' defensive resolve

Friday 10 January 2020

Dean Richards was satisfied with another five points on Friday night as his unbeaten Newcastle Falcons team defeated Doncaster Knights 34-10 at Kingston Park Stadium.

Leading 15-3 at the interval and continuing to build their score thereafter, the director of rugby said: “I was reasonably happy with the performance, even though we showed a bit of hesitancy early on.

“If our accuracy is off for one reason or another – and the wind certainly didn’t help tonight – then it makes a big difference.

“The last 15 minutes of the first half saw us show more of what we are all about, and in the first ten minutes of the second half we scored a bit too easily from their point of view.

“Doncaster were realistically never going to win the game from there, and I think our boys took their foot off the gas a little bit which meant we lost a bit of structure. On the whole, though, I was fairly happy.”

Richards added: “For one reason or another we allowed them to have some early territory and possession, possibly because they had the wind behind them. We defended well during that period and the only score they got was one penalty from 50 metres, and I was pleased with our defensive discipline in the first half.

“We absorbed all of their pressure in the first 20 minutes and then ran away with the game in the second 20, but both sides made a few mistakes.

“I thought George Wacokecoke played well, Gary Graham again showed why we rate him so highly and George McGuigan was good again. I don’t think anyone played particularly poorly, to be fair, but it’s just seeing how good you can be and playing to your potential every game, which isn’t always easy.

“It wasn’t quite at the same intensity of the Ealing game, which we really enjoyed, but we got the points in the end.”

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