Alex Tait has revealed the low-key circumstances in which Newcastle Falcons discovered they had retained their Premiership status for next season.
His side 44-38 at London Wasps on Saturday, the full-back revealed: “When we got back in the changing room I asked our forwards coach John Wells how Worcester had got on and he just said they had got beat so we were safe.
“No sooner had he said that than Dean Richards came in and gave us a false-angry talk, then just changed his tone and said ‘well done boys’ with a smile on his face.”
Having more than played his part in an 11-try thriller at Adams Park, Tait added: “It was a bit of an odd game, to be honest.
“It felt weird out there at times, a bit like the end of the Gloucester game where it was wide open and just tries being scored all over the place.
“We made a great start and did exactly what we said we would do, putting them under pressure and playing with loads of intensity.
“We knew if we stood off Wasps they had dangers throughout the side, but when we went 17-0 we just dropped that intensity level.
“That wasn’t a conscious decision, but Wasps took advantage and showed what they can do with the ball.
“It was class being out there in the first quarter and we were just being really professional. We were getting things done and moving on to the next job, but maybe 17-0 was a bit too much of a lead and we slackened off a little.”
Exeter visit Newcastle on Saturday in what is now a dead-rubber, not that Tait and his team-mates are treating it as such.
He added: “It has been a bit of a long slog this season and we still haven’t had that win we want. Exeter is our last chance to do that, and we want to show our fans we can do it.”
Meanwhile, Tynedale have named ex-Falcons lock Andy Buist as their club captain for next season, taking over the role from Jack Harrison at the National One side after returning to rugby from a three-year injury exile.