Director of rugby Dean Richards was happy with the physicality of his Newcastle Falcons side during Friday’s 21-12 pre-season victory over Ealing Trailfinders at Kingston Park Stadium.
Tries from Sean Robinson, George McGuigan and Jamie Blamire secured a hard-fought victory ahead of next weekend’s Gallagher Premiership opener at Bath, Newcastle bouncing back from last weekend’s 38-17 loss at Ealing.
“We knew that Ealing were going to be difficult in both games, and so they proved,” said Richards.
“Today was a step up from last week.
“There were fewer changes during the game, which was always the plan, and it’s all just about building towards Bath away next weekend.”
Elaborating on the areas for improvement, the Falcons boss said: “I thought we were a bit indisciplined in the first half, and sometimes you just need to have more of an understanding about what a referee wants from the game.
“I don’t think we reacted to the referee quickly enough, which is something we will continue to work on, and we did improve during the second half in that aspect.
“Our physicality was there throughout, which is important so close to a Gallagher Premiership season.
“We were quite quick to the ball and showed plenty of energy, although our decision-making was a little bit off at times.
“Our understanding of what we were doing at certain times wasn’t quite 100%, but we haven’t played a home game for more than 250 days and I think a degree of that is unavoidable.
“It was never going to all happen overnight, but there were definitely some positive signs. Tom Penny went well at full-back, a number of the boys showed up well and it’s something to build on as we go down to Bath next weekend.
“Bath are a really physical side, there will be a huge amount of confrontation in that area next Saturday and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”