Falcons Director of Rugby left to rue penalties as team return pointless from West Country
Director of rugby Dean Richards lamented Newcastle Falcons' penalty count following Saturday's 23-14 Aviva Premiership defeat at Bath.
The Falcons had been well in the game at the interval trailing by only three points, but were made to pay for poor discipline as Gavin Henson kicked the late penalty which denied them the losing bonus point.
Home skipper Stuart Hooper's first-half try from a catch-and-drive had already punished a Newcastle penalty by that stage, Richards saying: “We gave away four or five needless penalties which cost us, and if you do that then you probably don't deserve anything out of the game.
“We missed nine points with the boot and there were two tries that went begging, but you just take that on the chin and look to improve. We should have got something out of the game today, but our naivety in giving away silly penalties is something the lads will learn from."
Finding positives in a performance which lacked nothing in character and grit, the former England and Lions star said: “At times we defended heroically near our own line, and were denied two tries by the video referee. We have looked at both incidents, and they are what they are."
“We scored almost immediately after both of them and capitalised on the pressure we had, so in that sense I don't look at them as chances that went begging.”
Having no complaints about Bath's decision to kick for goal with two minutes remaining, Richards said: “Bath could easily have gone for a scrum and conceivably earned a penalty try from the way they were out-thinking us in that area. But there were still two minutes left on the clock, and by going nine ahead it just meant we had to score twice to win the game."
“I don't look at it as them deliberately denying us a bonus, I just think they wanted to secure the game and of course I have no problem with that. Had they taken a scrum and we had turned it over we could have theoretically gone the length and nicked it, and I just think it was smart rugby on their part rather than thinking about us not getting a bonus point"
The Falcons are next in action on Friday night, when Gloucester are the Aviva Premiership visitors in an 8pm kick-off. Tickets are available from £15 for adults and £7.50 for Under 16s by clicking here calling the 24 hour ticket hotline on 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park box office during office hours.