Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Squad 'Going Full-Out' in Home Battle against Brive; THE INTERVIEW: Dean Richards despite Their Setback in Russia Last Weekend, Dean Richards Says Newcastle Falcons Will Push Brive All the Way at Kingston Park on Saturday. Mark Smith Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Squad 'Going Full-Out' in Home Battle against Brive; THE INTERVIEW: Dean Richards despite Their Setback in Russia Last Weekend, Dean Richards Says Newcastle Falcons Will Push Brive All the Way at Kingston Park on Saturday. Mark Smith Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

DEAN Richards has no intention of giving up on the European Challenge Cup despite his Newcastle Falcons team having lost three of their five games in the competition.

Last weekend's 24-7 reverse at Russian side Enisei-STM means the Falcons have to beat French club Brive at Kingston Park to stand any chance of going through to the quarter-finals, and even then they could be left waiting on results elsewhere.

But the director of rugby insists they are not pulling the curtains shut on a tournament which last season saw them reaching the last eight.

Richards said: "We will be going full-out against Brive.

"We are the home side and it will be a different response altogether."

Newcastle fell 13-9 to Brive when the two teams met at Stade Amedee Domenech in November, Brive's 21-18 home win over Connacht last weekend putting them top of the group on 15 points going into the final round of matches.

Connacht are second on 14 points with Newcastle third on 11, only the group winners and the three bestranked secondplaced teams pushing through to the knock-out stages.

Richards said: "Brive are a quality side.

"At the time we played them in November they were right up there around the top of the French Top 14. They have slipped a little bit since then but they are still a really decent side who play some good rugby.

"The way they play makes them difficult to overcome, they have never been a walkover for anybody and it will be a hard game whichever way you look at it."

One thing the Falcons will not have to put up with this week is a 5,000-mile round trip, their journey to Russia having seen them reaching Sochi via both Edinburgh and Istanbul.

"I think people underestimate the effect the travel had out in Russia," said the director of rugby.

"Although Enisei had a greater distance to go than we did from their base in Siberia, they had a direct flight, where as we left Newcastle at 10am and arrived in Sochi at 5am the following day.

"The impact of that was felt quite a bit by the boys, but we did have the Friday to adjust and should have been on our guard to a greater extent than we were. …

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