Richards praises players after Irish rout
Battling back from a point down at half-time, the Falcons ran in seven tries, all converted by Brett Connon.
“If Newcastle United can win 4-2 at Leicester City we just thought we could do the rugby equivalent,” said Richards.
“No, but all joking aside, it’s been there for a long time just waiting to come out.
“We’ve had a lean couple of months in the league and taken some criticism during that time, scoring three tries on too many occasions and not closing out a number of games we should have won.
“You’ve just got to take that on the chin when you’re not winning and we haven’t let it get to us, but more than anything I’m just delighted that the boys have got some reward for their hard work.”
Scoring a host of team tries in a match laden with offloads and attacking ambition, the Falcons boss said: “The lads had free licence to go out and attack, which is what they did.
“It was a great game to watch, although the first half was a little bit backwards and forwards, which was frustrating for us as coaches.
“We started the second half with a good score, gave them an easy try but ultimately pulled away, although nobody is pretending it was the complete performance.
“I was delighted that Carl Fearns got on for his debut and made a couple of big hits, and Mark Tampin even made a line-break!
“It’s a pity the fans weren’t in to see it but that will start to happen from May 17 against Northampton, and will be great to see.”