Dean Richards admits Newcastle Falcons beating themselves up in bid for Aviva Premiership playoff spot and Champions Cup qualification


Dean Richards insists he has not given his Newcastle players the hairdryer treatment in the build up to Friday night’s crucial clash with Sale at Kingston Park.

The 27-13 loss to Worcester last weekend saw Newcastle drop out of the top four, a position they worked so hard to achieve and with games running out, Richards wants to see an immediate reaction against a Sale side that is desperate to ensure qualification for next season’s European Champions Cup competition.

Newcastle, now fifth, know that moving back into a playoff place is still possible and could come down to the final regular season Premiership match with Wasps at Kingston Park.

Before then come the matches with sixth placed Sale and Leicester who are looking increasingly dangerous in third place, plus the European Challenge Cup semifinal at Gloucester on April 20.

It appeared that some of the Newcastle players were showing signs of fatigue at Worcester where individual errors stopped the Falcons from delivering the kind of off-loading game that has served them so well in Europe and the Premiership.

Richards, the Falcons director of rugby, said: “It is a very long season and it is not a case of ranting and raving about it because the boys are pretty ambitious and will have been beating themselves about the defeat and will try to put it right. Sometimes you need a bit of a rocket which they got at Worcester.

“The real issue we had was retaining possession and playing in the right areas of the pitch which we couldn’t do. That was largely down to our own inaccuracies which we have talked about.

“We felt we have been winning without playing as well as we could do. If we go into the games coming up like that then we will come unstuck. We came unstuck against Worcester who capitalised on it.”

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