Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Told to Maintain Cool Heads in Crunch Tie

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Told to Maintain Cool Heads in Crunch Tie

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Sports writer

COOL heads are the order of the day for Newcastle Falcons in Sunday's basement battle with Worcester, says director of rugby Dean Richards.

The Warriors have just five games left to overturn the 12-point deficit between themselves and the Falcons at the bottom of the Premiership, having won none of their 17 league matches this season.

Newcastle are themselves winless since the end of October in the competition having equalled their worst ever Premiership losing streak, but both sides have shown improved performances in recent weeks.

Worcester were beaten only by the very last play of the night a week ago by London Wasps, Newcastle battling back from 30 points down to claim an unlikely pair of bonus points at Gloucester the day after.

Richards said: "If you look at the last five to six weeks with the ground firming up, we have played some outstanding rugby.

"We have got points where many people might not have expected us to, and we have scored tries.

"We have shown people we can actually play."

Readying his troops for Sunday's 2pm televised kick-off has included psychological as much as physical considerations, the former Leicester and Harlequins boss insisting: "One of the keys to it is being able to control your emotions.

"You need to go out there and go through the processes you want to go through, and play in the manner you want to play without letting the emotions or importance of the game get in your way.

"The situation and emotion of course is a part of it, but it is understanding we are not in the same boat as Worcester are."

With the Warriors effectively in the last-chance saloon as regards their Premiership status, Richards added: "Sunday is massively important to us, but it is far more important to them. …

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