DEAN Richards insisted there was no need for the half-time hairdryer on Saturday despite his Newcastle Falcons side leading by only two points at lowly Jersey.
As wind and rain lashed the Channel Islands, the Falcons found themselves up by just 5-3 midway through an encounter which ultimately delivered them another maximum-point haul in a 10 -game unbeaten start to the league season.
Jimmy Gopperth’s 25th-minute touch-down following a line-out in the left corner saved his side the embarrassment of trailing at the interval for the first time this term, but they could not have complained had they been behind.
Propelled backwards by a fired-up Jersey scrum and kicking into the teeth of a fierce wind, there was precious little separating teams who had been two divisions apart as recently as six months ago.
The boot of Welsh fly-half Barry Davies nudged Jersey ahead via a penalty on 14 minutes, and the damage could have been more but for two further efforts missing their target.
Newcastle, in contrast, failed to find their early rhythm, but their director of rugby is a much calmer beast these days when it comes to the matter of half-time motivation.
“Our team talks are process-driven rather than shouting and screaming, and if I am going to go down the other route then I save that for Monday morning’s meeting,” said Richards, whose side made a much better fist of things with the wind at their backs.
“I thought it was a very good game and, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything other than that. Having looked at what Jersey have done at home this season they are a quality side.
“Their scrummage has been really good, and people tend to forget that in their pre-season game against Leicester they pushed them over for a penalty try.
“They are a good team, and we knew it would be the sort of hard-fought contest we got.
“To come away with a bonus point, given the conditions and how well Jersey were playing, was a great effort.”