Richards rues game of two halves

Friday 19 March 2021

Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards rued Friday’s game of two halves as his side fell 20-18 at home to Wasps at Kingston Park Stadium.

Leading 18-6 at the break but failing to register a single point during the second period, the director of rugby said: “We had a good lead at half-time and were quite pleased with how we were playing, to be honest with you.

“It was a very odd game in a way between two sides who were probably lacking in confidence, and it was one half each in that sense.

“Their ball-carriers coming off the bench after half-time probably made a bit of a difference for them – and it’s hard to play with 13 men when we had Greg Peterson and Micky Young in the sin bin.

“Credit to the boys because I thought they dug in and defended pretty well during that period where we were two men down, and it wasn’t a bad effort in that regard.”

Highlighting discipline as a key work-on, Richards added: “You’ve got to give fewer penalties away than we did tonight, and it’s the needless penalties that really frustrate you.

“It was the same last week and the week before, and I just hope it’s not a trend that’s started because we’d been pretty good up until that point.

“Even with that disappointment, we were still only a drop-goal or a penalty away from winning the game at the end, but we just couldn’t get the field position we needed.

“We made a couple of mistakes during that period, we didn’t feel the referee was looking at them but that’s our own doing because we were indisciplined earlier in the game.

“There were times whereby there seemed obvious penalties, but they just weren’t given.”

Preparing to take his team to his old hunting ground at Leicester a week on Sunday, Richards said: “We’ve got a good team, and the way we performed in the first half showed that, but you’ve got to have the consistency to be able to do it for 80 minutes.

“The losing bonus point is no consolation because we wanted to win, and anybody would say the same.”

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