Dean Richards: No repeat of Newcastle Falcons collapse

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Richards 'angered' by Falcons first-leg show

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards has said there will be no repeat of the collapse that led to defeat by Leeds in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final.

Falcons led 19-13 but eventually lost 24-19 to take a five-point deficit back to Kingston Park on Sunday.

"It's not going to happen again," Richards told BBC Look North.

"It's probably the thing that has haunted the club in the last few years and perhaps the reason they went down."

Richards added: "We lacked a bit of precision, patience and accuracy in everything we did and as a consequence you get to 19-13 with not many minutes to go and we end up losing 24-19."

Newcastle beat Leeds heavily in pre-season before winning both regular-season encounters at Headingley and Kingston Park.

But Diccon Edwards's side came into the play-offs on a six-match winning streak that included victories against two out of the four sides in the promotion picture.

"It's very difficult when you've playing a side you've put quite a few points on in the previous three games, and I think their preparation mentally wasn't quite as good as it might have been," Richards said.

"As a consequence we didn't pay them enough respect, even though they had gone six games unbeaten before that and were the form side in the Championship, but it's woken then up.

"There's no way anyone will be taking anyone for granted. We're 80 minutes into a two-half game and there's another 80 minutes to play and we're five points behind.

"If you look at the points that have been scored throughout the season, then five points shouldn't be a lot to overcome provided we play in the manner that we want to play.

"It's the game management that is one of the biggest issues. We have to learn to win a game and to close it out."

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