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Aviva Premiership: Dean Richards blasts Newcastle after defeat to London Irish
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Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards described his side's first half performance as "one of the worst I have ever seen" after the Falcons crumbled to defeat against London Irish.
Visitors Newcastle trailed 40-12 at half-time after conceding six tries, before putting in a much-improved performance in a scoreless second half.
The result leaves the Falcons with a seven-point cushion over bottom club Worcester, with both sides having three games to play.
Richards said: "It was incredible, we lacked any composure or intensity.
"Some of our boys thought we are already safe from relegation, we conceded the first three tries through our own mistakes and were always chasing the game.
"London Irish had nothing to lose, we knew they were going to throw the ball around from the off and we had to cope better than we did."
Newcastle made three substitutions at half-time, including the introduction of half-backs Mike Blair and Joel Hodgson who gave more direction to the team, but they could not add to the four first-half penalties kicked by Rory Clegg.
"I made it perfectly clear what I thought at half-time as the boys knew they played badly," Richards said.
"In the second half there was a lot of endeavour but we still lacked structure and composure."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith was delighted with his side's effort.
"We definitely got a flyer, with charge-downs etc, but I'm pleased we went on with it," he said.
"I'm actually happier with our second half performance as we put in a massive defensive effort not to bleed a try or two which is difficult when you are that far in front."
Irish now face difficult away trips to Northampton and Gloucester which Smith accepted would be a tough task.
"We are safe but can't get in Europe so it's an unusual situation," he said. "But the signs are good as we are working hard for each other.
"To lose James O'Connor with a hamstring problem 10 minutes from the end was a blow. We will have to assess him but Tom Homer is a ready-made replacement should we lose James."
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com