Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fringe Benefits Are Enjoyed by Falcons' Coach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fringe Benefits Are Enjoyed by Falcons' Coach

Article excerpt

Plymouth Albion 10 Newcastle Falcons 25 NEWCASTLE did not need to get out of third gear as they dispatched Plymouth Albion at Brickfields - and director of rugby Dean Richards could not hide his delight at the performance of some of his fringe players.

Young tighthead Scott Wilson was part of a powerful Falcons pack which gave the hosts a torrid time at the setpiece.

Fijian fly-half Waisea Luveniyali also filled in for the injured Jimmy Gopperth admirably, adapting well to the conditions to kick ten points.

With just one more league game before the start of the play-offs, Richards stressed the importance of the entire squad being ready for the big games which will decide whether the Falcons make an instant return to the top flight.

He said: "A number of our boys such as Waisea Luveniyali at fly-half and Scotty Wilson at tight head had good game time.

"It is good a number of players are getting chances to push for places in the play off-matches.

"It is important we have healthy competition for places now we are approaching the crucial part of the season.

"There are no clear spots in the team for the play-offs and I'm glad a number of players are putting their hands up for selection.

"We will not be doing anything different in the way we approach those matches.

"We probably didn't get out of third gear but no disrespect to Plymouth I don't think they did either.

"Plymouth acquitted themselves well but the poor weather didn't allow either side to play much open rugby.

"It was important we kept our winning run going and we always knew Plymouth were going to test us as they did in our home match against them.

Hopefully, the weather will start to improve as here it was very difficult for both teams out there."

Newcastle got off to a flying start in difficult conditions in Devon, Ollie Stedman going over off the back of a powerful Falcons scrum after just six minutes.

Albion responded with a penalty through Declan Cusack, only for Jamie Helleur to pounce on a mistake by Paul Bailey to run in Newcastle's second try.

Plymouth threatened a comeback when replacement fly-half Paul Roberts set up Toby Howley-Berridge for a try, which he converted to make it 14-10. …

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