Richards credits ‘fresh’ Glasgow after Euro loss
Speaking after the Kingston Park clash, the Falcons boss said: “Glasgow didn’t play last weekend so they were pretty fresh, whereas we played six days ago.
“It’s one of those sports whereby rest is really beneficial, and any extra week makes a massive difference. So thank you to EPCR for that, it’s just not on, but that’s life, and it’s not the reason we lost. It did contribute to it, though, and Glasgow looked fresh. They certainly came out of the blocks far quicker than we did.
“Our set-piece was challenged massively. We knew they had a good defensive line-out but some of our boys froze on the day, and that wasn’t good.
“The referee couldn’t see what we were seeing in the scrums, which didn’t help. There were a couple of penalties and free kicks whereby we were just absolutely bewildered, but that’s life, and when you have a French referee you never quite know what you’re going to get.”
Picking out some key areas, Richards added: “It doesn’t help when your set-piece doesn’t function as it should do, and we made plenty of mistakes. A little bit of tweaking made a difference in the second half, and while you can’t fault the guys’ endeavour, you’ve got to couple it with a higher level of accuracy and discipline.
“By discipline I don’t just mean not giving away penalties, I mean being in the right place at the right time, making the right decisions and executing when you get your opportunities.
“I watched Glasgow warming up and they looked far sharper than we did – we were just going through the motions, and you can’t do that at this level.
“Ali Price at scrum-half for them is a class player, and even watching him in the warm-up I said to Dave Walder in our coaching box, he just looks really, really sharp in everything he does. True to form, he made the right decisions during the game and challenged us in the right areas. We probably don’t see that type of scrum-half in the Premiership, other than Danny Care, and he was outstanding for them.”
With their European journey at an end Richards’ focus quickly turns to Friday’s Gallagher Premiership visit of London Irish on Friday April 22.
He said: “London Irish will be a good chance for us to show we’ve taken on board the lessons from tonight, because they offer a very similar type of game to Glasgow.
“They have a good line-out and scrum, they’ll challenge us with ball in hand and play a fast-ruck game. It’ll be interesting to see how our boys respond to that challenge after the Glasgow performance, and I’m looking for a considerable improvement.”
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