Richards Laments Missed Chances

Saturday 1 December 12

Director of rugby Dean Richards admits he was disappointed his side failed to make their chances pay after missing out on maximum points in Friday’s 31-15 victory over Plymouth Albion.

The Falcons had a string of opportunities to kill the game off in the second-half, but a resilient Albion rearguard prevented the home side from sealing the bonus-point.

Mark Wilson’s first-half score coupled with second-half tries from Luke Fielden and Jamie Helleur put the northeasterners in the box seat for the five point win. But the Falcons spurned a number of plays with the try line beckoning in the closing minutes, much to Richards’ dismay.

“We had five or six chances which went begging, and we should have finished them off,” said Richards, who saw his troops unable to claim the bonus-point for only the third time this campaign.

“As coaches in the stand we found it frustrating, as to miss the opportunities that we missed is a little bit uncharacteristic in some respects because we have been quite clinical this year,” added Richards.

The Falcons were on the back-foot as early as the second minute when Plymouth No.8 Aaron Carpenter crossed in the corner to give his side the lead. Winger Thomas Bowen repeated the feat shortly before half-time to give the Falcons coaching team something to mull over at the break.

“Our defence has generally been good, and we have only conceded one league try at home all season, but to concede two tries is unacceptable and the players know that,” said Richards.

“The fact that the players are not happy is a nice thing, and we have got to rectify this. The way that we defended in the first few minutes shows that we didn’t get on the front-foot and our line speed wasn’t particularly good.

“As a consequence every carry that they had they got over the gain line which we are disappointed with, and it’s not something that we’re used to,” he added.

Scott Wilson’s second-half appearance was one of the highlight’s of the night, as the 18-year-old made his league debut after coming through the academy ranks at Kingston Park.

Richards was delighted for the young prop, saying: “It was great to see him make his Championship debut, and I think he’s got a great future ahead of him.

“For a young lad I thought he did well, and it’s no coincidence that the scrum improved when he came on.”

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