Monkey now off Newcastle’s back

Date published: October 6 2014

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Newcastle Falcons will go into this weekend’s match against London Welsh full of confidence after Sunday’s win over Exeter.

Newcastle Falcons will go into this weekend’s match against London Welsh full of confidence after Sunday’s win over Exeter.

The victory was the Falcons first in the Premiership since October 2013, a run of 20 matches that had understandably taken its toll on Dean Richards’ side.

“This will be a real confidence boost for the players going into the London Welsh game which will be a bit like a cup final for them and us, for that matter. There is a completely different atmosphere in the changing room now,” said Richards.

“The players have worked so hard and it’s just that the confidence wasn’t there as it is with other sides, simply because it’s so long since we had a win and it just wipes away all those doubts and the monkey on our backs that everyone liked to talk about so much.”

Newcastle, using a new artificial surface at Kingston Park, have noticeably opened up their game this year after producing a dismal attacking performance in 2013/2014.

Richards admitted that defensively there was still work to be done, but that the club was moving in the right direction.

“We’ve been playing a good brand of rugby all year, playing a really expansive game and trying to score tries,” added Richards.

“We’ve been left floundering at times and our defence has probably let us down occasionally. We made a quite a few defensive errors again today, but I’m really delighted for the boys that the losing run is at an end.

“We gifted Exeter a couple of tries which we shouldn’t have done and had to work hard for our scores, but we scored some really good tries.

“People ask me if is relief that we’ve won but it’s been coming for a while and while I’m still a little frustrated in the way we played today, I am delighted for the players and I thought we deserved it.

“That’s not taking anything away from an Exeter side who are outstanding and play a very good style of rugby from broken play.

“I said at half-time when we were just a point down that there were opportunities for us all over the park because with a side that like to attack as Exeter do there are always going to be chances and opportunities.”

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