Richards reacts to Toulon defeat

Friday 18 January 2019

Dean Richards was left cursing the late try which denied his side a Heineken Champions Cup victory over Toulon on Friday night at Kingston Park Stadium as they fell to a 27-24 loss to Toulon.

The Falcons had scored twice in two minutes to put themselves in front going into the final seven minutes, only to concede the decisive score almost straight from the restart.

Richards said afterwards: “That was a game that got away, without a doubt.

“We created pretty much all the opportunities in the second half and then gifted them a really easy try towards the end, having butchered I don’t know how many chances prior to that.”

Highlighting the line-out as an area in need of improvement, the director of rugby said: “Our line-out didn’t function well at all, not just the ones that we lost but also the delivery quality of the ones we won.

“Even when we won the ball it wasn’t of a quality which we could play off, and it wasn’t a great day at the office from an accuracy standpoint.

“We had two five-metre line-outs, a guy missed a lift on one and the ball went through the jumper’s hands on the other, but you’ve got to nail those drills time and again if you’re going to be successful.

“The fact is we’re creating a huge amount of opportunities – we’ve just got to nail them.

“The boys went out there and played with a lot of heart and passion, but you’ve got to have that accuracy as well.”

Moving into the Premiership Rugby Cup for their next assignment at the AJ Bell Stadium on February 3, Richards said: “The Sale game is a good one for us to win from a confidence point of view, although to be honest the guys’ confidence is fine.

“I think they showed that by the attacking ambition they played with, but it’s just nailing that execution that’s the next step.

“We just need a win, and once we get that it will turn things round for us.

“The boys are in a good place, they’re going to get a little bit of time off with us not having a game next weekend and they’ll come back fully focused on getting that win at Sale on February 3.”

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