Director of Rugby disappointed by result in Russia as youthful Falcons fall to defeat.
Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards was disappointed by the result, but heartened by the performance of academy débutantes Callum Chick and Adam Redman against Enisei STM on Saturday.
Having named a young side for the trip to Sochi, a powerful performance from an experienced Enisei STM side ensured the Russian team recorded back to back wins in the competition at the Yug stadium.
For Richards however, the experience the Falcons youngster will take forward in their development will prove worthwhile.
Speaking en route back home, Richards said, “We’re obviously very disappointed with the result. Our line-out didn’t function as we’d want it to in the first half and Enisei did very well to limit our opportunities and seize on their own.”
“We selected a young team today, with Callum Chick and Adam Redman both making their first senior starts and the side as a whole can take a lot forward from the game today.”
“We lost Tom Penny and Beli Agulla to injury midway through the first half which wasn’t ideal, they both were selected to bring experience into a pretty young side and there is an obvious degree of disruption caused in losing them so early.”
“They are being looked at by our medical staff and we’ll know more about the injuries later.”
“That said, I thought Adam Redman and Dan Marshall who came on acquitted themselves very well and the experience of this trip and this match against a strong side will carry them forward.”
Turning attention to the opposition, Richards praised the effort of Enisei and insisted that they are a team that are demonstrating why they have been included in European Rugby’s Challenge Cup
“Enisei are a good side and as we said earlier in the week, they have improved immensely since we played them back in November.”
“They beat a quality Brive side here back in December and they certainly showed why they are in this competition. They had a side that was filled with experience and were very physical and they earned their win.”
With the journey back to the North East now under way, the focus has already switched to the final pool fixture against Brive at Kingston Park next Saturday.
“We’ll be back in the North East on Sunday, will get the journey out of the lad’s legs and be back into training next week ready to face Brive on Saturday where the focus is on going out and winning.”
“We were in some ways unfortunate not to take the win against them over in France back in November, we certainly played a lot of good rugby. If we can use that performance as a starting point and add in good home support, then we should be well placed.”