Richards rues the one that got away

Saturday 27 November 2021 Written by: Adam

Recording a four-try bonus point but missing out on victory by conceding a late leveller, the Falcons boss said: “We’ll take three points from the game, but it doesn’t feel like enough and the boys are very disappointed in the changing room.

“Three points in some respects is not a bad result, but we expected more and wanted more.

“It was our own inability to control the game in the first half as we should have done and not playing in the right areas which was our downfall, and but for that we should have taken all five points.

“Credit to Worcester because they took their chances when we had them, whereas we didn’t.”

Playing with a gale at their backs in the opening 40, Richards said: “It was always going to be a game of two halves with the way the wind was, and when we had the wind in that opening half we had to capitalise on it.

“We didn’t manage to do that, and we went in just two points up at half-time rather than the 15 or 20 that we needed. That was our own doing, and we’re disappointed by it.

“We’ll look at our defensive frailties and why we conceded the easy tries that we did. We scored four tries and probably should have scored another four, and that’s the frustrating thing.

“The first half it’s about where you play your rugby with the wind behind you, and second half it’s about taking your opportunities, which we didn’t do particularly well either.”

Refusing to look for excuses, he added: “The boys were fresh and everything else, so we’re not going to make excuses about anyone being tired. The rescheduling of the match shouldn’t have affected us, so we’re not going to try and use that as a reason for not winning.

“It wasn’t a game that was played with a lot of intensity or pace, and we just didn’t take our opportunities when they were there. The boys who started the game probably could have finished, to be honest.

“You have to come here, look at the weather, understand what you need to do to win, and we just didn’t execute on the day.”

Crediting a monumental whole-club effort as the effects of Storm Arwen seriously threatened the fixture, Richards said: “Full credit to the grounds staff and maintenance team because they were here from 6am or even earlier, working in horrific conditions to get the game on.

“They’ve worked tirelessly for two days to give us a game, and the whole club’s staff have chipped in as they always do. We could quite easily have had a cancellation with the way the weather was, but it was a massive effort from the staff here and also the supporters who braved the elements to come and cheer us on.

“The players not involved in the game came in and worked behind the bars due to the staff shortages caused by the re-arrangement, and we’re a tight-knit club.

“I think that’s why everyone’s doubly disappointed with not winning, because they know what an effort has been made to get the thing played.

“A group of professional rugby players were asked if they’d be willing to come in and work on the bars, and they had every right to tell us to get lost. But they didn’t, because they’re not like that. They came along and chipped in, and I think that speaks volumes for their character and the ethos we have here.”