Richards laments Falcons loss of composure

Saturday 17 January 2015

Falcons director of rugby rues his side's errors as Dragons breath fire with a ten minute four try blitz

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards was left to lament a costly ten minute sin bin period during the European Rugby Challenge Cup round 5 fixture against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday.

The Welsh region put their numerical advantage to devastating effect, scoring four converted tries and putting the game virtually out of reach before the half hour mark, in a period the Falcons boss could not believe.

Richards said: “I’ve never known four converted tries to be go over in a ten minute period like that, it was very disappointing in terms of losing our composure. That’s 28 points and it was always going to be difficult in the second half as a result, but we’ll look closely at that 10 minutes and why we fell of the cliff and how we can stop that happening again should we have someone sin binned.”

Whilst the Dragons showed a clinical edge to capitalise in that period, the Falcons woes were compounded as attacks fell short through turn overs or errors, which Richards put down to a failure to play to the team’s patterns and systems.

He said: “Today in the first half we went totally of script, we didn’t play to our shape or to our plan and it came back to haunt us.

Following the half time interlude, the Falcons emerged from the changing rooms a transformed outfit, with Richards revealing a calm and considered team talk was the key to an unlikely fightback.

“I walked into the changing room and you can give it the old hair dryer treatment but it was anything but that but I just went in and said, Boys we’re in a bit of a pickle aren’t we, how do we get out of it?! We went through what we were doing wrong, talked about doing it right and everyone getting their role’s right and executing things to their best of their ability.”

“We went out in the second half and played with a bit of composure which is what we should have done in the first half. We turned in four tries which I thought were well taken and probably left two or three out there.”

Having reduced the deficit to 18 points and making inroads aplenty into Dragons territory, a sucker punch try for Hallam Amos gave the Dragons a lead that would prove insurmountable, however the Kingston Park squad continued to press and earned what would could ultimately prove to be a crucial four try bonus point.

Richards said: “Their try in the second half was probably the killer blow and even then, I think we probably should have stopped that one.”

“We thought with 10 mins to go we could still win, but as the clock clicked away and we missed a couple of opportunities it just became a bit more difficult and we started to chase the game at the end when what we should have done was retained that composure, that discipline and kept on keep being clinical about things.”

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