Dean Richards bemoaned his side’s inability to play the conditions as Newcastle Falcons struggled to a 17-13 away victory over London Scottish on day one of the Greene King IPA Championship season.
With the rain teeming down in south-west London the Falcons maintained their all-court attacking game, their director of rugby insisting a more pragmatic approach was the order of the day.
Richards said: “It was a case of horrible conditions for both sides, and I don’t think we adapted particularly well.
“It’s pretty clear that we didn’t play how we set out to, and we tried to play too much in the wrong areas. That let London Scottish back into the game, they scored a try that they thoroughly deserved near the end and fair dues to them.
“London Scottish played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion, and they probably edged us in the set-piece too if we’re totally honest about it.”
Richards added: “In the end we were pleased just to get the win but the main sense of frustration is about the tries we left our there, especially in the first half.
“We just shouldn’t have been in trouble towards the end with the amount of opportunities we had, but that’s life – missed opportunities can cost you.
“It was a bad day at the office, especially in terms of our execution.
“The amount of knock-ons we had because of the weather and the silly offloads we were throwing – the boys just need to appreciate that sometimes you have to play in the right areas.
“If that means kicking the ball down to the corner more often than not then you just have to get on with it, but we didn’t manage that properly. Instead we over-played in the wrong areas, and it almost cost us the win.”
With his side still unbeaten after winning all four of their matches, Richards said: “I don’t think it’s a wake-up call because nobody ever thought this league would be easy, and we’ve not travelled well the last few away games.
“At the same time we can’t be too down on ourselves because we’re still winning, and that’s the most important thing.
“Of course we wanted five points but we’ll take the four, and as we’ve said from day one this isn’t an easy league. London Irish dropped points last season, there are good teams here and we’re not for one second thinking it’ll just happen automatically for us.”
The Falcons are next in action on Friday night when Hartpury University are the Greene King IPA Championship visitors to Kingston Park Stadium. Tickets for the 8pm kick-off are available by clicking here.