Richards frustrated at missing out on bonus point

Friday 1 January 2021

Dean Richards admitted to feelings of frustration having missed out on a Gallagher Premiership bonus point in Friday’s 29-17 defeat at Bristol Bears.

Speaking after the Ashton Gate encounter, the director of rugby said: “We probably felt we were worth a bonus point, but you have to take your opportunities.

“It all boils down to that little bit of accuracy which I’m constantly talking about, and which we’ll look at this week.”

Richards added: “Going into this game we lost Gary Graham, George McGuigan, Michael Young, Luther Burrell and Tom Penny, who are all guys who have done really well for us in the league.

“When you lose that spine it does have an impact, and the guys coming in have to step up.

“That’s difficult when some of them have hardly played for months, and when you’re up against stars like Steven Luatua, Charles Piutau, Nathan Hughes, Kyle Sinckler, Semi Radradra and the like.

“It’s a hell of a Bristol side on paper and I actually thought our boys did well, but we just needed that little bit of accuracy at times.”

Confident that a first league loss will not be allowed to derail their progress this season, the Falcons boss added: “We’re not going away, and one defeat doesn’t change anything for us.

“I don’t think it’s been a case of teams underestimating us – maybe Bath a little bit on the opening weekend, but I think that result put the other clubs on alert that we’re a decent side.

“Everyone knows what we’re about, we’ve won five from seven in all competitions – or one less if you don’t count the cancelled Boxing Day game against Leicester – and we’re not going to fizzle out.

“We’ve got a forward pack which works its socks off and a back line which scores tries, so we’re just going to keep working where we need to and look forward to making those little improvements.”

Newcastle are next in action on Saturday January 9 when Gloucester visit Kingston Park Stadium.

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