Richards hails team’s “Brilliant Effort”

Friday 12 December 2014 Written by: Adam

Dean Richards drew on the plentiful positives after his Newcastle Falcons claimed a well-deserved bonus point from Thursday’s 31-24 loss at Stade Francais.

The director of rugby praised the enterprise and endeavour of the Challenge Cup visitors, saying: “We created a lot of opportunities, and fair dues to the boys for that.

“Stade Francais are third in the French Top 14 with a budget of 30-odd million, they strengthened their side for this game and that is a boost in the sense that they obviously respect us.”

“To all intents and purposes we could certainly have got a draw out of it, and maybe even a little bit more.”

It took a late score from hooker Remi Bonfils to clinch the result in an eight-try thriller, after Newcastle had pulled the scores back to 24-24 in an end-to-end encounter.

Richards said: “There is no doubt about the fact that Stade Francais know they have been in a battle, and there were a few bruised and battered bodies out there. The boys put a huge amount of effort in, and a little more accuracy in certain areas might have made the difference.”

“The players would have remembered the night even more if we had got that win, but people were remembering before the game how Newcastle had lost by 40 points the last time the two teams played.”

“That was a totally different scenario of course, but the never-say-die attitude we showed in keeping going until the very last whistle was really pleasing. You could see how relieved Stade were to get that penalty to end the game, not just because they had won but because they knew we were putting pressure on them.”

Highlighting areas for improvement, the director of rugby added: “Our first-phase let us down a little bit. There were a few inaccuracies at the line-out, and it was a tough day at the office for the front-row in the scrum.”

“We knew that was going to be the case because we have had a lot of injuries there, and it was always going to be difficult. Other than that I thought the boys were outstanding, and the effort was brilliant.”

Losing their 100% record in the competition, the Falcons boss said: “It is not the unbeaten record going that upsets the players, it is the simple fact they have lost a game. That is what they are disappointed about, and had we shown a little bit more accuracy in certain areas and got a bit more out of the scrum we could be sat here with more of a smile on our face.”

“The players had a chat in the changing room after the game in terms of what more they needed to do, and there was no shouting and bawling. There was a good show from the players and coaches about the way forward from here, but there were a huge amount of positives from the game even in defeat.”

Next up for the team is a visit to Harlequins when the Aviva Premiership returns next week before the eagerly awaited home match against Saracens on December 27th.

Tickets are selling fast at with seats at a premium, supporters wishing to attend are urged to book their tickets now by clicking [here][1] calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park box office during office hours.