Reaction: Dean Richards' post-match verdict

Sunday 31 January 2021

Dean Richards said his Newcastle Falcons team gave themselves too big a mountain to climb despite mounting a late rally in Sunday’s 31-22 defeat at London Irish.

Speaking after the Gallagher Premiership clash at Brentford Community Stadium, the director of rugby said: “We acquitted ourselves well at times but we just didn’t do it for the 80 minutes, which is what cost us.

“Our control of the game as a whole wasn’t good enough, and as much as we put on a bit of a resurgence at the end it’s more about how we allowed ourselves to get so far behind on the scoreboard.

“For the first 60 or 65 minutes we couldn’t control where or how we played the game, we didn’t set the pace of the game, and ultimately it came back to bite us.

“I was pleased with the impact of the guys who came on from the bench, and I thought they did really well.

“The guys were asked to make an impact when they came on, and they delivered, so I was pleased with that. It’s just that sometimes you can give yourself too much to do in too short a space of time, which is what we did today.”

Not helped by the first-half sin-binning of full-back Tom Penny for what was judged to have been a late hit on his opposite number, Richards said: “With the sin-binning we’re wondering why their full-back wasn’t taken off for an HIA with the way he stayed down and rolled around, and we were a little bit aggrieved about that.

“That frustration was added to towards the end when the exact same thing happened to Will Montgomery being taken out, but maybe someone will have a look at that.

“The yellow card cost us dear, which we’re disappointed about, but that’s the way the game has gone. We anticipated something like that might happen this week but we didn’t deal with it on the day, and that’s our own fault.”

Looking at the game as a whole, he added: “You’ve got to take your chances, and we didn’t do that enough today.

“In some respects there are positives we can take from aspects of the performance, but the overriding feeling is disappointment that we didn’t nail our opportunities.

“We’ve got to understand that and be accountable for it, and appreciate how we need to play in certain conditions against certain opposition.”

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