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Dean Richards hails ‘clinical’ Newcastle as Harlequins fold to Falcons

The visitors ran in four tries in an impressive display.

Dean Richards
Dean Richards

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards struggled to remember a better second half from his time in charge of the Falcons as they blew Harlequins away after the break to record a stunning 28-10 victory at the Stoop.

Despite going behind to an early James Horwill try, the visitors levelled through Callum Chick’s score.

Newcastle could not add to the scoreline before half-time, despite three Harlequins players being sent to the sin bin, and a Marcus Smith penalty nudged the hosts back in front after the break.

But the Falcons then powered in front thanks to quickfire tries from Kyle Cooper and Chris Harris before Sinoti Sinoti grabbed a bonus-point fourth.

It meant Newcastle tasted victory at the Stoop for the first time in Aviva Premiership Rugby since September 2000.

“There was a lot of endeavour in the first half but we lacked a bit of accuracy,” Richards said.

“I probably feel we had more opportunities in the first half than the second, but in the second we were so clinical in everything we did.

“When we sat down at half-time, we talked about that accuracy and that understanding, and in the second half I thought we were incredibly clinical.

“I thought Kyle’s try was really good and then Sinoti’s, again, was really well taken.

“I haven’t seen that clinical a performance as we put in in that second half in a very long time.

“We hadn’t won down here since 2000, so the significance of coming down here and winning is huge, but to get the bonus point as well – even more so.”

Despite seeing James Chisholm, Joe Gray and Alofa Alofa in the sin bin at different periods in the first half and the opening 10 minutes of the second, Harlequins stayed within touching distance of Newcastle and even led shortly after the restart.

But once the floodgates opened, Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston admitted there was little his side could do.

“I thought the defence, for large parts of the game, was very good,” Kingston said.

“Obviously, their third try was very soft but I thought we defended manfully for large chunks of the game.

“They put us under quite a lot of pressure and we seemed to have worked our way through it 10 minutes into the second half leading 10-7.

“When you’re losing, confidence levels aren’t high and once we went behind, you start trying to go off on a tangent and do things yourselves, and that doesn’t work in a team game.

“We have a game of rugby again (on) Friday night and we will be looking to try and get some pride back in ourselves as a group of people against Bath at home.”

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