Richards Praises Season-High Crowd

Sunday 21 February 2016 Written by: Adam

Providing vocal backing to a tense climax during Sunday’s 26-25 Aviva Premiership victory over Northampton Saints, the Director of Rugby paid tribute to a fan base which is growing in both size and volume with every passing week.

Richards said: “Our fans were incredible today.The numbers who came and the noise they created was tremendous, and I don’t think anyone bar Northampton’s away supporters will have gone home disappointed.

“It is great for the club, our fans are as loud as anybody’s and it was great to hear them so involved.”

Tries from Alex Tait and Chris Harris, plus six from six off the kicking tee from Andy Goode, propelled the Falcons into a lead which Northampton challenged towards the end, Richards satisfied by the outcome but admitting it was by no means a perfect performance.

He said: “I wouldn’t have said it was the best showing of the season because we did make some mistakes, but we were playing against a quality side and clung on for the win. We showed a lot of courage and character and we are pleased with the result, but the pleasing thing is that there is a lot more to come from this team.

“We will scrutinise the game and I can think of at least four try-scoring opportunities which we missed, although I am sure Northampton will say the same about themselves, in all fairness.

“That said, our attack is starting to function now, we were happy with the end result but we acknowledge there is a lot more still to be done.”

Playing down any talk about the wrong end of the table, Richards added: “I have said all year that we aren’t looking down, although when you are bottom as we were a few weeks ago, you can’t!

“The boys have never looked down. It has always been about the quality of the side and the players, and the camaraderie they have between them. At the moment the boys are confident, they marshall themselves and sort themselves out, and they are going well. It makes the management’s life a lot easier.”

Pleased by the resilience shown at the end as the Saints pushed for a late winner, the Falcons’ boss said: “Over the last few years we have been a bit guilty of crumbling when sides have hit back at us, but the past three or five matches have shown a much greater understanding of how to get past that.

“If we execute things properly we can score as many tries as anyone else, and the players now truly believe that. We got our first genuine line-out steal in about four games right at the end there, and that was another pleasing element to take from it.”

For the full press conference interview with Dean Richards click [here][1].