Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Mind the Quality as Falcons Snatch Win; Richards Is Happy to See His Side Win 'Scrappy' Tie Newcastle Falcons Players Celebrate after Beating Bath Yesterday

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Mind the Quality as Falcons Snatch Win; Richards Is Happy to See His Side Win 'Scrappy' Tie Newcastle Falcons Players Celebrate after Beating Bath Yesterday

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE Falcons' boss Dean Richards admitted his side's Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over Bath at Kingston Park was "a bit scrappy" - but was nonetheless delighted with the result.

At 15-9, Bath seemed to heading for victory, only for Falcons winger Zach Kibirige to score under the posts to snatch a 16-15 win for the home side.

The West Country visitors seemed to have Saturday's match won after second-half tries from Jack Wilson and Will Homer edged them 15-9 ahead with seven minutes remaining against the 14-man Falcons. However, then Kibirige wriggled free on the touchline just inside halfway and raced away to score under the posts - and Craig Willis' conversion made it 16-15.

"Yes, it was a bit scrappy but we will take the win," Falcons' director of rugby Richards admitted.

"It is probably the first time for a long time we have played badly and won. I was really pleased with that.

"It does wonders for the team's confidence when you can come back from six points down and win it.

"There were a lot of the lads coming back from injury and who had not played for a while so it was always going to be scrappy, but we went out there and turned in a winning performance.

"The lads don't give in, they love playing with each other and like being in each other's company. The club is in a good place just now.

"Nili Latu was immense in the contact area.

"We knew he would have an impact coming off the bench and he didn't disappoint us or the crowd."

Neither side was able to progress any further in the competition - but provided a pacy contest which was riddled with errors.

The first clear chance fell to Falcons' lock Glen Young, who collected a long cut-out pass from Willis and looked like he was going to make it over in the corner before he was hauled down - and Newcastle were penalised for going in at the side.

Bath spurned a kick at goal to go to the corner and the follow-up play promised much but fizzled out when Adam Hastings' grubber kick was snapped up by Willis, who was then tackled high - and the penalty allowed Newcastle to clear.

Opeti Fonua and Sinoti Sinoti roused the crowd with successive powerful runs but both times the loss of ball in contact cost the home side. …

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