Opposition view: Frustration for Falcons boss Richards after defeat to Saints
Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards concedes his side are staring relegation in the face after a 'frustrating' 31-17 defeat to Saints at Kingston Park on Friday night.
The Falcons battled back from 24-3 down to 24-17 but conceded a late Alex Mitchell try to be denied even a losing a bonus point.
If Leicester win at home to Bristol Bears this afternoon and Worcester Warriors beat Gloucester at Sixways on Sunday, Newcastle will be relegated.
Richards was left to wonder what might have been after seeing his men suffer a 14th defeat of the campaign.
"It was a little bit like the last game against Leicester (which Falcons lost 27-22 at Kingston Park) wasn't it?" said Richards.
"We lacked intensity and we lacked accuracy in the first half.
"We came back in the second half and had we shown a little more accuracy we would have probably been in front.
"And then we tried a little bit too hard at the end which gave them that try to finish us off. That first half killed us.
"It is frustrating.
"We played with a little bit more endeavour and heart in the second half, but it is very frustrating as we had lineouts in key positions to get us try-scoring opportunities and we couldn't even nail them - that's the most frustrating thing.
"Mathematically, we've still got a chance but we've now got to go down to Gloucester and get five points there and then get five points against Bristol here.
"It is what it is and if Worcester win on Sunday and Leicester win on Saturday then it's goodnight us.
"People wrote us off six games ago and had we won against Leicester and Northampton we wouldn't be sitting here talking about relegation, we would probably have been talking about something else."