Richards Frustrated By Connacht Defeat

Saturday 12 December 2015

Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards was left frustrated after his side lost out to Connacht in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Dean Richards admitted Newcastle Falcons had the opportunities but did not manage to take them as Connacht enjoyed a 25-10 victory in Galway on Friday.

The two teams do battle again at Kingston Park Stadium next Sunday as the European Challenge Cup group phase enters its second half, Newcastle's Director of Rugby saying:

“There was an air of frustration from our players in the changing rooms afterwards. We weren't accurate enough on a few occasions in terms of finishing certain things, and hopefully we will turn that round in the return leg.”

Danie Poolman scored the home side's only try in the dying minutes of the game, the result seeing the Irish outfit remain unbeaten at the top of the pool.

Newcastle's one try came from a driving maul in the right corner, Richards admitting: “We created a huge amount of opportunities during the game and I thought our defence stood up well.

“The only real try-scoring opportunity Connacht had was the one at the end from which they scored, and that was the disappointing thing. We had done all the hard work but a couple of silly penalties here and there and a few small errors cost us dear.”

Crediting Ireland's top-ranked Pro 12 province, the Falcons' boss added: “They compete hard at the breakdown and they had a few turnovers early on.

“They have got some good players. James Connolly played well on their open-side and they put us under pressure on a few occasions in the scrum. We held strong in that department after that, but they are certainly not a bad side."

Man of the match Jack Carty slotted six penalties for the home side, Richards saying: “You look at the penalties and question one or two of them, but the 50-50 calls are sometimes the ones which will never go your way when you have got a crowd like there was here in Galway.

“The referee perhaps got swayed a little bit, but that's life, and it will be a different thing altogether when they come to us next Sunday.

“It is a great crowd over here, it really is, and as much as that may have played a small part in some of the decisions it was down to us because we shot ourselves in the foot. We made mistakes which we shouldn't have made, and those small errors made a big difference to the scoreline.”

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