Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons must retain Premiership focus

Mark Wilson
Newcastle were behind at half-time against Exeter, but came back to end their 20-match losing streak

Director of rugby Dean Richards says Newcastle Falcons cannot allow their improvement to stall after a first Premiership win in 21 games.

Falcons beat Exeter last Sunday to end a miserable run that stretched back to last season, when the side recorded just three victories in 22 matches.

Improvement has been made in 2014-15, with 11 tries from five games, nearly half of last season's tally of 23.

"No one's getting on their high horse," Richards told BBC Newcastle.

"They're not thinking too far ahead of themselves. The result had been coming and the players were acknowledging they could see what we were trying to achieve.

"There's a lot of work to do to go out there and nail the opportunities."

Newcastle's long wait for a win
The win against Exeter was Falcons' first Premiership success in 343 days, dating back to 27 October 2013, when they beat London Irish 13-11 at Kingston Park.

Worcester were relegated by six points last season, as the Falcons scraped clear of the drop zone despite losing to the Warriors in March.

Their nearest rivals in the table at present are London Welsh, bottom of the table, and they meet in Premiership action for the first time this term on Saturday.

"There's no way we can go out there just to blast them away," continued Richards. "We have to go out there, get the processes right and in a workmanlike manner.

"They're not a bad side at all, and a lot of people have said they fold in the final 20 minutes but I don't think they necessarily do.

"Teams bring on fresh legs and because they haven't quite got those fresh legs the players who are existing on there find it difficult to step up another gear.

"I think they're a quality side that plays a good brand of rugby - but after an hour the quality has hit home."

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