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Falcons fail to take flight

Sat, 28 Dec 2013 09:01
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Newcastle Falcons might have ended their try drought against London Wasps but it failed to bring a smile to Dean Richards face after the Director of Rugby felt his side had missed an opportunity for victory at Kingston Park.

After more than six-and-a-half hours without an Premiership try wing Noah Cato finally gave the Falcons faithful something to shout about as he went over on 60 minutes.

And just like London buses the Newcastle fans had another try to cheer before the game was over as captain Will Welch buried his way over with time up.

But although Welch's late score earned the Falcons a losing bonus point that was all they could muster as London Wasps had already done their damage - building up a 17-0 lead thanks to tries for Sam Jones and Ashley Johnson as well as the boot of fly-half Andy Goode.

And Newcastle chief Richards felt his side had let Wasps off the hook after failing to get to grips with the game in the first 40 minutes.

"If we played in the first half like we did in the second half it might have been a different story altogether," Richards said.

"But understanding the conditions, where to play and how to get there, we didn't quite understand it in the first half.

"The tries are fine but I would have sooner have won the game and had the understanding of how to play and how to score points and stop them from scoring.

"We conceded a stupid try in the first half which probably killed us off but credit to the boys, they showed great character in the second half and played some great rugby and we got the two tries and the bonus point.

"But to be honest I am very disappointed with the first half. Unfortunately we didn't turn in the performance we wanted to in the first half but we showed what we can do in the second."

As for Wasps they climbed to sixth with the victory, their third straight away from home after beating Gloucester and London Irish on their own patches.

And Director of Rugby Dai Young was delighted with the work ethic his side produced in tricky north east conditions, adamant that it bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

"I felt under pressure for most of the game to be quite honest," Young said. "I don't think it was just the second half as there were big periods in the first half as well where we found ourselves playing without the ball for big periods.

"I am really pleased with our defence as they held out. We knew it was going to be a tough place to come and they proved it.

"Obviously last season we lived off a lot of scraps and there was only one game we could play.

"This season we have had to develop a different style and a lot of our players with that x factor haven't been able to play for big parts to he season so we have had to be a little bit more conservative with our approach and spend a little more time up front and play their game a little bit tighter and have more than plan A.

"It is still a work in progress and there is a long way to go but we showed glimpses here that if we have to play tight and roll our sleeves up then we can do that."

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