'Discipline cost us' says Richards

Friday 10 February 2017

Director of rugby Dean Richards said discipline was the key factor in his side’s 26-24 defeat at Sale Sharks on Friday night.

A hat-trick of tries from Fijian wing Vereniki Goneva helped the Falcons to a pair of Aviva Premiership bonus points, but a late Will Addison penalty proved the difference as the Falcons were edged out in the all-northern encounter.

Speaking afterwards, Richards admitted: “We said at half-time that we were lacking the discipline to follow through with what we said we were going to do.

“It wasn’t just the discipline of giving away penalties, it was the discipline to get into our own shape and to accurately execute. We just lacked that, and had we had it then we would most probably have won the game.”

Richards added: “The wind was blowing pretty hard out there, which people in the stands might not have appreciated, and we struggled to get into their territory during the first half.

“Having said that, we scored a couple of nice tries, and then in the second half when we did have a bit more territory we didn’t play as well as we should have done. We paid the price for that.”

Goneva was the eye-catcher for Newcastle with a pair of second-half interceptions, adding to a superb first-half try.

Richards said: “We scored a couple of interception tries in the second half but didn’t break Sale down too much. That comes back to us being more accurate in what we are doing, and we just weren’t. That was most disappointing thing.

“Having said that, we have come away with two points, and if you’d asked me at the start of the year about taking six points from our two matches against Sale I’d probably be quite happy with that. But it doesn’t feel like it tonight, though, because we’re disappointed with the defeat.”

Newcastle Falcons are next in action on Sunday February 19 when Northampton Saints are the visitors to Kingston Park Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm, with tickets available by calling 0871 226 6060 or by clicking here.

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