DEAN RICHARDS warned his Newcastle Falcons players they cannot afford to keep making life difficult for themselves in the wake of a nerve-jangling 20-19 win at Wasps.

A last-gasp Brett Connon penalty saw the Gallagher Premiership basement boys record back-to-back wins and move to within three points of 11th-placed Worcester.

Tane Takulua and Nemani Nagusa also scored second-half tries as Falcons came from behind, but director of rugby Richards thought his charges should have ensured a more comfortable afternoon at the Ricoh Arena.

“In the second half, we came out and held on to the ball much better and, as a result, looked more dangerous than they did,” said Richards. “Having said that, you’ve still got to take advantage of it and we fluffed a couple of chances which meant we left tries out there.

“There was a ten-minute spell when we conceded a soft try down the right through a missed tackle and, like the first half, that enabled them to get on the front foot again.

“We need to realise that, when that happens, we need to front up and make our tackles on the gain-line to stop their momentum.

“Our big ball-carriers - Evan Olmstead, Nemani Nagusa and Kyle Cooper - made a big difference when they came on and that put us back on the front foot.

“You’re always in with a shout if you’re within a couple of points with a few minutes to go, especially if your carriers are then able to put you in the right positions and get over the gain-line on a consistent basis.”

Four penalties from Rob Miller and Ben Harris’ 67th-minute try saw Wasps lead 19-17 late on, and time looked to be up for the visitors when Toby Flood missed a late penalty.

But Newcastle kept their foot on the gas and teed up the opportunity for Connon to win it.

Wasps chief Dai Young said: “Whether we deserved it or not is immaterial. With two minutes left and you have the ball, you have to see the game out.

“That’s the frustrating factor for me. I’m not going to sit here and pretend we were far better than them because I don’t think we were.

“When you have that lead with two minutes to go, you have to see that game out. We failed to do that. We’ve been in that position twice lately.”