Newcastle 9 Harlequins 35: Well beaten but no bad blood for Dean Richards

 

Kingston Park

There was no dream return for Dean Richards against his former club Harlequins. In fact, it turned out to be a real nightmare as Quins claimed a four-try bonus point victory, with two of them coming from wing Sam Smith and one from Danny Care.

Despite being just seven points adrift at the break, Newcastle’s lack of cutting edge was painfully obvious – they have only three tries in the Premiership this season – and they were handed a lesson in finishing by Quins with captain Nick Easter in imperious form in an unaccustomed role as second row.

It was hugely disappointing for Newcastle’s biggest crowd of the season – 6,017 – when they conceded a soft try after just nine minutes to winger Tom Williams and never looked like recovering. Richards, facing Quins for the first time since a three-year ban for his involvement in the “bloodgate” scandal when Williams faked an injury in 2008, was happy to pay tribute to his former club.

“I’m delighted for the lads I worked with at Quins, but there has been lot more work done there since I left,” he said. “They have been together seven or eight years and there was a lot of quality youngsters there put in front of me and Conor [O’Shea] has carried that on.

“As far as we’re concerned we were competitive last week, but we missed a lot of opportunities today and we didn’t perform. I don’t know why. We didn’t take our foot of the gas in training, but we couldn’t adapt to their skill and a lot of our players are very disappointed. We need to just play and not be too worried about the outcome.”

The result lifted Harlequins back into the top four as they moved two points clear of Leicester Tigers in the standings. Yet with all the attention on Richards, it was another former England N0 8 who caught the eye in Easter. O’Shea revealed he will be talking to red-rose coach Stuart Lancaster about a potential recall for the 35-year-old.

“He was superb,” said the Quins’ director of rugby. “He stole a couple of line-outs and threw a couple of passes out of the back of the hand.

“If it had been me [the passes] would be in the back of the stand; with Nick they go straight to the player. I will be talking to Stuart again about him because I just think he is astonishing. He has so much versatility, so much going forward and he came up here with just one thought and that was not to be second best.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor