Richards: Scrum penalties cost us in Euro loss

Saturday 10 April 2021

Director of rugby Dean Richards admitted Newcastle Falcons’ scrummage endured a tough afternoon as their European Challenge Cup campaign ended at the quarter-final stage.

Beaten 39-15 away to Leicester Tigers on Saturday, the director of rugby said: “We weren’t at the races in the scrum, and it was one of those days.

“We couldn’t do anything right in the eyes of the referee at scrum time, and to be fair to Leicester I thought they were very dominant in that area and fully deserved all the plaudits.

“They’re very well-drilled in certain areas, they do the simple things well and there’s nothing flash about them.

“They’re a good side, and they deserved their result today.”

Tries from George Wacokecoke and Tom Penny gave Newcastle a sniff going into the closing quarter, Richards saying: “What we did show is that if you give us a bit of ball we can play, but we just didn’t have that platform.

“I’m sure Leicester will be looking at the game and thinking with the amount of territory and possession they had, they should have won by more.

“For us, we have the ability through our attacking shape, but we just didn’t have the field position and the platform to use it as much as we needed to.

“We didn’t adapt to the refereeing style, which is disappointing, and that’s entirely our own fault.

“We can agree or disagree with individual penalty calls but ultimately we’ve got to be good enough to adapt to how he’s refereeing it, and we didn’t do that today.

“It’s nobody’s fault but our own, and we’ll have to learn from it and be better.”

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