Captain Will Welch in action

Richards: We can still raise the bar

Saturday 16 October 2021

Director of rugby Dean Richards says his Newcastle Falcons side can still find another couple of gears despite Saturday’s 13-5 home victory over Bristol Bears.

Leading 7-0 at the break through Callum Chick’s try and adding two Brett Connon penalties, Richards said: “It wasn’t a particularly entertaining game, and I think both teams would admit their accuracy wasn’t quite where it needed to be.

“We like to play with a bit of dynamism, as Bristol do, but I don’t think either side properly got into their groove.

“It could have been a really good game if both sides’ accuracy had just been a bit better, but we’re still happy with the win.

“I don’t think it was the referee’s fault that the game never properly got going, it was just our own inability to play beyond three phases without making a mistake.

“It gives us things to work on, and we’ll just quietly look to make those improvements rather than basking in the result today.”

Ending the day in the top half of the Gallagher Premiership table, the Falcons boss said: “To win our third game out of five, we’re quite happy with that when you consider the two we lost were against the champions in Harlequins and a very good Saracens side.

“Even then, we were disappointed not to win those games, and we wanted more.

“We’re doing alright, when we sit back and reflect on it, although clearly you can always do more.

“We had 60% territory in that first half today and didn’t really make it count as much as we should have done. Numerous times we were there but just couldn’t take it, and it’s just one of those things.

“I think if we’d have got that extra try then they would have folded, but we couldn’t quite get it over the line.

“We needed to score a few more points in the second half after getting the try just before half-time, but we just seemed to falter a bit in that third quarter.

“I thought the guys coming off the bench made a big difference – Jamie Blamire got a couple of good steals after George McGuigan had played well before him – and those bench guys did really well in helping us close out the result.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday November 13 when Wasps are the visitors in a Premiership Rugby Cup clash. Tickets for the 3pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium are on sale now by clicking here.

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