Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Hails His Winter Warriors

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Hails His Winter Warriors

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith ? (0191) 201-6432 ?

DEAN Richards believes Newcastle Falcons' chameleonlike qualities will be to the fore during the winter months after seeing them adapt to the elements last time out.

The Falcons were 25-3 winners over Cornish Pirates on Sunday in torrential wind and rain in Penzance, keeping the play tight and scoring all three tries through close forward exchanges.

Those are all qualities they will need to return to as the dark nights begin to draw in and their director of rugby was delighted to learn they have the capability in their repertoire.

He said: "It is a shame in a way the conditions dictated quite a limited gameplan in terms of giving the ball width and keeping it in the hands, but when the weather is like that there is not much you can do.

"We coped with it a little bit better than they did, they got themselves into trouble a couple of times trying to run it from deep but a win in Penzance is a good result no matter how you get it."

Finding further comfort in his side's set-piece exploits, Richards added: "Our line-out was competitive, the scrum went pretty well and all of those basic things were in reasonable order.

"There will be things we look to improve from this game, but overall we were fairly satisfied and think of it as a job well done. I was pleased with our work around the ruck and breakdown area, which I thought we dominated and worked really well on.

"Our ball retention at times was excellent even though we were just sending it through the forwards.

"When the elements are like that and it is almost like a cyclone out there which is just how you have to play.

"Every side likes to run the ball and we are no different in that, but you have to pick your times and this was not that time.

"Cornish Pirates are a good side and we have huge respect for them, so we knew it was never going to be easy. …

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