Newcastle boss Dean Richards admitted he’s happy to accept winning without playing well as the Falcons moved out of the Premiership relegation zone with victory over Bath.
The Falcons edged a scrappy contest 16-8 to move up to third from bottom, albeit possibly briefly with Bristol at Wasps and Sale at home to Northampton on Saturday.
Richards admitted it’s a result he is more than happy to take.
“It’s a happy changing room if a little frustrated,” he said. But if you can win not playing well, what’s not to like?
“It was a bit of an arm wrestle all the way through and we gave away some silly penalties and that cost us territory. Once we’d tidied that up we controlled the game well, but we lacked accuracy and a couple of times when we got close to their line, we fluffed our lines which cost us dear.
“The Jonny Williams try was a good one. We did talk about their defence with Freddie Burns going off and we thought they might be a bit unstructured in that area and we thought we’d have a go. We got a result.
“We did talk about our discipline at half-time – you have to with a different referee every week and they look for slightly different things. We weren’t getting any joy in the contact area so we had to sort that out and we sorted it out but missed a couple of chances in the second half.
“We’re not playing with the fluidity we want, but we do have a few players missing and when they come back you will see a difference.”
While Richards was happy enough with his side, in terms of the result, Todd Blackadder – his opposite number at Bath – was not.
“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatememt. That was our worst performance of the season. We just didn’t front up.
“It doesn’t help that our two playmakers and goal kickers had to go off but you can’t use that as a excuse.
“Probably the most disappointing thing for me was where we had a lot of control around the set-piece and we spilled a lot of ball and made a lot of silly little errors.
“We had the possession and kicked to the corner and could have really put the pressure on Newcastle but we kept making those silly little errors, knock-ons etc.
“Our execution and decision making wasn’t good. We really respected Newcastle and prepared really well and that’s probably the most disappointing aspect because we just didn’t get the little things right.
“You really want to win away from home, you can’t be great one week and then be so inconsistent – it’s just not good enough.”