Richards reacts to Exeter loss

Saturday 23 February 2019

Director of rugby Dean Richards did not fault the effort level of his Newcastle Falcons players following Saturday’s away loss to Gallagher Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs.

Speaking after the 35-17 defeat at Sandy Park, he said: “The boys stuck at it but we had three or four tries that went begging, and we just needed a little bit more clarity in terms of our execution.

“Had we shown that attention to detail then we might have come away with something, and that’s the disappointing thing.”

Still win-less at the Devon venue after 12 attempts, Richards said: “It’s a difficult place to play down at Sandy Park, and so it proved.

“Defensively we stuck at it but Exeter folded on occasion, and that exposed our short-side. We got done there a couple of times and that gave them the momentum they probably needed, but other than that I thought we fronted up defensively.”

Losing props David Wilson and Jack Payne inside the opening 20 minutes, the Falcons boss added: “The disruption with multiple injuries at the start didn’t help.

“We’d intended giving Logo Mulipola 20 minutes or so just to get a bit of game time into him, but he ended up playing more than an hour. I thought he did well, to be fair to him.”

Winger Zach Kibirige ran in another two tries for the Falcons, taking his tally against Exeter this season to six tries in three games.

“Zach has got gas to burn and he’s a top finisher,” said Richards.

“He has other aspects of his game which he’s working hard on, and he’s a good player who will get even better.”

Now looking to the visit of Worcester Warriors on Sunday March 3, he added: “We’ve got important games coming up and plenty of those are at home, so our form at Kingston Park is going to be important for us.

“A lot of people on the outside are saying it all comes down to one game against Worcester on Sunday, but it doesn’t.

“Yes, it’s an important one, but there are still eight games to go.”

Tickets for Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership visit of Worcester Warriors are available by clicking here.

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