Simon Uzokwe takes contact (pic credit: LNC Images)

Richards happy with Hartpury half-century

Saturday 5 October 2019

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards admitted his side had to overcome a slow start during Saturday’s 52-14 victory at Hartpury University RFC.

The Falcons led 26-14 at half-time in the Gloucestershire countryside, Richards saying: “We’re delighted in some respects because we scored 52 points and some good tries, but we conceded two against a fired-up Hartpury side and it was slightly concerning how slow we were in starting.

“Six hours is a long time to spend on a bus and it’s something we’ll have to look at in terms of being sluggish early on, but I thought the lads stuck at it and ultimately got the job done.

“Credit to Hartpury because they kept on coming and coming and coming. They never gave up, and we knew it would be like that. You have to take your hat off to them.

“We always knew these kinds of away games were going to present challenges, and it’s how we control it and what kind of accuracy we’re able to show.”

Seeing eight tries in all to wrap up an unbeaten block of three Championship Cup games, Richards said: “Once we got into our game after half-time without being too emotionally involved in it, I thought we looked quite good.

“We talk a lot about intensity, but that doesn’t just mean going out there and smashing people. It’s about doing things the right way, being accurate with it and adding physicality to that.

“We challenged the players last week to go out and attack a bit more, and they rewarded us for that. They did the same again today after a bit of a slow start, and it wasn’t a bad effort.”

Starting their Greene King IPA Championship campaign at London Scottish on Saturday, the Falcons boss said: “We’ve made a lot of changes from week to week throughout these three cup games, but with the start of the league season coming we’ll probably move to a more settled scenario.

“Cohesion will come with that, and we’ve said from day one that promotion is our main goal.”

Newcastle’s next home game is the Championship visit of Hartpury on Friday October 18. Book your tickets by clicking here.

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