Reaction: Qualified praise from Richards
A last-minute winner from George Wacokecoke clinched the result, Richards saying afterwards: “It’s not the result that matters during pre-season – it’s how you play.
“It was a case of us just trying to get things back on track tonight, and to be honest I thought it was a scrappy old game.
“It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination – there were a lot of errors and boys just finding their feet.
“There were a lot of changes from both sides which always disrupts things, but guys need match minutes, so you have to do it at this time of year.
“Yeah, the result was nice because it’s always good to come away and win, but to be honest I’m never too bothered about whether we win or lose during pre-season.
“The main thing that pleased me was the youngsters we have coming through.”
Richards added: “The academy have done a great job and we have a fantastic crop of lads just making their way in senior rugby – I thought they came in and gave a good account of themselves.
“People like Marcus Tiffen, Ewan Greenlaw and Will Haydon-Wood all came on and did well, as did Matty Dalton on his debut.
“As we progress through our pre-season games I think cohesiveness is one area we’ll look to improve, and just understanding what everyone’s role is.
“In pre-season it’s just about ticking the boxes and playing the style of rugby you want to play by the time the first Premiership game comes round.
“We’re not quite there yet, but I was pleased with how a lot of the boys went – especially the young guys.
“We have Doncaster tomorrow [Saturday] which is another opportunity for a lot of the squad, and we want guys to be staking a claim by understanding how we’re trying to play.”