Pack earns praise from Richards

Date published: February 13 2016

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards hailed his forward pack for their instrumental role in his side's 26-14 victory over Leicester.

Despite both of Friday's tries coming from the backs in a fifth successive home win for the Falcons, it was the men up front who enabled the first-half double through their set-piece and broken-field exertions, which delighted Richards.

"Our pack were outstanding. At half-time Andy Goode said we wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for the boys up front and it continued in the second-half, even with the disappointment of letting them in for a try. In the end, we got the result we wanted," he told Newcastle's website.

"I was pleased with the guys. We came in at half-time (20-9 in front) and said we had to just lay our bodies on the line again for another 40 minutes, but still be as constructive and disciplined.

"In fairness I actually thought we lost that a little bit. Our discipline went at times in the second-half, we lost a couple of line-outs at critical points, but we still made that physical commitment which was probably what saw us through."

Tonga captain Nili Latu was named Man of the Match at Kingston Park after another huge personal contribution.

"Nili adds a huge amount to the side. One of the things he does do is bring a huge degree of belief, and when you couple that with what Andy Goode brings, the side is in a good place at this moment in time," said Richards.

With Sean Robinson and Mark Wilson again catching the eye in the second row, Richards added: "You have got boys in that Leicester squad who are probably spoken about as being higher up in the pecking order than our guys, but I don't really see it."

"Sean and Mark were both outstanding in the second-row. They were way above what Leicester were."