Falcons eliminated from Champions Cup
Newcastle Falcons' hopes of qualifying from their Champions Cup pool are over following their 45-8 defeat to Montpellier on Saturday.
The Falcons knew nothing short of a victory would do at the Altrad Stadium and they were very much in the contest as they only trailed 12-3 at the break, but Montpellier ran away with the game in the second half to keep their own qualification hopes alive.
Newcastle did grab a consolation try late on through wing Zach Kibirige although director of rugby Dean Richards conceded after the match that they were beaten by a better team, particularly as their squad is currently at full stretch due to a number of injury issues.
"Montpellier are a really good side with lots of world-class players, and you've got to be on your mettle to beat them," Richards told the Falcons' website.
"We weren't quite there today, the amount of injuries we've got plays havoc with us and if you're not quite putting out your best side against a team like that then you'll come a cropper."
Newcastle's final match in this season's competition will come on home soil against Toulon next weekend.
The Falcons recorded a 26-25 win when the two sides met earlier in the season and Richards believes it would be a good way to round off their European campaign if they were able to do the double over the three-time champions of Europe.
Richards added: "If we beat Toulon on Friday night then we've done the double over them home and away, and as disappointing as it will be not to go through, I think a double over Toulon would still be something to hang on to as a positive from the group stage."
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.