Newcastle boss Dean Richards critical of referee as Worcester seal first win
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was critical of young referee Tom Foley after the Falcons went down to an 11-9 defeat to Worcester at Sixways.
Newcastle dominated in terms of territory and possession but were repeatedly penalised by the referee at the scrum area.
Despite the inconsistencies of the refereeing, Newcastle still should have won an error-ridden game but they gifted Worcester their try, scored by Wynand Olivier, and failed to score one of their own.
Richards said: "A bunch of young referees are making decisions which are having a massive effect on the game.
"They have never been in a scrum in their life and have no idea about what's going on in it and they are looking at the outcome rather the cause.
"The young referees will learn and Tom Foley has the potential to be a good referee."
The Falcons had to rely on three penalties for their points, two from Mike Delany and one from his replacement, Joel Hodgson.
Richards accepted that it was a game that his side should have got more than a bonus point from.
He added: "It was a turgid and horrible game but we had a lot of possession and territory but didn't make it count.
"They had one chance and took it and we didn't take ours as we didn't have enough accuracy in attack."
Richards was also complimentary about three of his players, saying: "Mark Wilson, Simon Hammersley and Will Welch were outstanding today and I can't understand why they are not in the EPS squad.
"We have been playing well; they are performing consistently each week and outperforming some of those who are included in the squad.
"I haven't seen Eddie Jones all season, apart from a brief five-minute chat, as it's a long way up to Newcastle, as we've seen with referees."
After two home draws and two away defeats, Worcester boss Carl Hogg was relieved to see his side pick up a first Premiership win.
Tom Heathcote and Ryan Lamb kicked penalties to supplement Olivier's first-half try.
Hogg said: "The game wasn't a classic or a huge spectacle but it's great to get the monkey off our back.
"It was a huge tick in the box for team spirit and resilience, for Newcastle had most of the possession and territory and we've got a lot of injuries.
"We didn't play particularly well as our line-out malfunctioned badly, it was very frustrating and something we need to look at."
Heathcote was preferred to Lamb at outside half in the starting line-up and played the first hour before Lamb replaced him.
Both players missed kicks at goal, which could have proved crucial.
Hogg said: "Tom played well at Bath and got our line moving well while Ryan was inconsistent against Sale last week so Tom deserved his chance this week.
"It would be nice to have that buffer of the scoreboard regularly ticking over by accurate goal-kicking and it is something that the players will continue to practice."