Director of rugby refuses to gloss over the Falcons shortcomings following loss to Exeter Chiefs.
Having trailed 31-3 at half-time and failing to score a try in the entire game, he said: “It was disappointing and we have nobody else to blame but ourselves. We knew how Exeter were going to play. They have got a squad full of promise and they play with a huge amount of pace. At times our boys couldn't match that. "
“They couldn't match them upstairs rather than physically. Exeter's speed of thought was far better than our boys'. Leaking six tries in the way that we did was really disappointing, and we will have to look at that. Our defence was appalling on the day.”
Insisting no stone would be left unturned in pursuit of the answers needed to turn around their season, Richards said: “We will dissect it.
“We will go through it as a team and be as constructive as we can be. There will be a bit of finger-pointing as there always is in situations like this, but nobody goes out there to lose. We didn't even score a try, which was disappointing."
“It may not have seemed it but we were in a far better place today than we were the week before. We will be next week, we will turn a corner and when it clicks we will not only start winning, but winning regularly.”
Showing some small signs of improvement after the break, the Falcons' boss said: “At half-time we said we had nothing to lose, and we had to play from everywhere.
“We missed three outstanding try-scoring opportunities which we should have nailed, and we might have got a little bit of something out of the game. Alas, that wasn't to be, and the nature of the day was that nothing went our way."
“That is entirely down to ourselves – we were the masters of our own downfall. With the squad we have got we should be doing better than we are at this moment in time.”
Belisario Agulla almost helped himself to a debut try, Richards saying of his Argentine signing: “He made a couple of mistakes, but that is just his naivety in failing to understand the intensity of the Premiership. Equally, he did some really good things, and I also thought Tom Penny acquitted himself well for his first Premiership start. The scrum held up, which was fine, Nili Latu was outstanding again and there were a few positives."
“That said, on the whole you look at the small things which make a big difference in games, and we did those really badly.”