Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Win but Coach Deano Still Sees Plenty to Work On

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Win but Coach Deano Still Sees Plenty to Work On

Article excerpt

DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Richards said the middle 40 minutes of Saturday's 50-12 win over Nottingham had pleased him - but admitted there was plenty to work on for his Newcastle Falcons side.

The pre-season opener at Darlington Mowden Park's Northern Echo Arena saw the Falcons winning eight tries to two, building on a 14-5 halftime lead after conceding a try inside the opening two minutes.

Richards said: "It was hard work but a decent result in the end.

"In the first 20 minutes we were a little bit frantic. We were all over the place but it was pretty good after that.

"Their first try was the most annoying because were weren't quite at the races. It took us 20 minutes to settle down but once we did, I thought we looked good.

"Nottingham scored a nice individual try at the end when we dropped off on the inside but other than that we showed good progress.

"During the first quarter we looked rusty, during the middle 40 minutes we looked good and the game became a bit disjointed towards the end. That middle half, so to speak, was what made me happiestbut it's our first run-out of pre-season and there were always going to be things to work on."

It was Nottingham who drew first blood when a two-on-one down the left flank saw wing Josh Skelcey dotting down an unconverted try.

Among Newcastle's early livewires was Belisario Agulla and on 15 minutes it was the Argentinian centre who put Newcastle into the lead when line-breaks from Sinoti Sinoti and Taione Vea got the Falcons in prime position.

Patient phase play and a super inside ball from Chris Harris freed Agulla for a try on the diagonal, Mike Delany's conversion putting his side two ahead.

Enjoying greater possession during the second quarter, Newcastle began to take more of a leading role in the game and hooker Ben Sowrey steered a driving maul over in the left corner for his side's second try, with Delany converting impressively.

Newcastle made multiple changes at half-time and throughout, Joshua Chisanga and Evan Olmstead among the players making their first-team debuts as Richards shuffled his pack.

The latter was at the heart of the third try when his close-range lineout take enabled Scott Lawson to score from a maul. …

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