Dean Richard hailed his troops following Saturday’s heart-breaking 18-14 defeat at Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership.
Two Ben Botica penalties with five minutes to go denied Newcastle Falcons a famous win in the capital with director of rugby Richards having to settle for a losing bonus point.
“I thought the boys were outstanding, wore their hearts on their sleeves and put in a really good performance,” said Richards.
“Conditions weren’t easy, it was a howling gale down the middle but, given our injuries, I thought we gave a very good account of ourselves and were unlucky not to win.
“Every point is well received but we should have four today not one,” added the Falcons chief.
Quins came out of the blocks in emphatic fashion with two first half tries from Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Sam Smith setting the platform for the hosts. However, a second half fight-back which included two penalties from the boot of Rory Clegg and a try from Alex Tait set-up a frantic finale at The Stoop.
Paying tribute to a dogged Quins outfit, Richards said: “Full credit to Quins, they never say die and they got the points at the end.
“At the end our defence of their drives was crucial as we ended up competing instead of defending.”
Meanwhile, Richards’ opposite number in the dugout, Conor O’Shea admits his unit had to show mental strength to come through unscathed and cement their position in the top of four.
He said: “That win showed massive mental strength from the players – OK, there were plenty of inaccuracies and things we need to work on but that absolute ‘never say die’ attitude when we come under threat is what this team needs at the moment.
“We’ll need to play better in the coming weeks but when the chips were down in the last ten minutes we played some brilliant rugby just as we did last week against Wasps.
“Newcastle will feel disappointed and frustrated.”
Tickets are still available for next Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online (kick-off 3pm).