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Newcastle boss Dean Richards fumes at Falcons

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards could not hide his fury at a "stupid" display from his side as they lost 39-27 to Gloucester.

Despite cutting the deficit from 30-3, the Falcons had only themselves to blame as an ill-disciplined display allowed Billy Twelvetrees to kick Gloucester to victory.

Twelvetrees celebrated signing a new contract and being named Gloucester captain by kicking 29 points, with nine penalties and a conversion, while his side scored first-half tries through Matt Kvesic and Charlie Sharples.

Newcastle did score three tries of their own, through Simon Hammersley, Chris Harris and George McGuigan, but Twelvetrees' ninth penalty with four minutes remaining extinguished any lingering hopes.

"Thirteen penalties, 11 of them within kicking distance and nine converted, probably tells the story of the night," said Richards.

"Our discipline was woeful and it wasn't touch-and-go decisions, it was really obviously stupid penalties which we gave away, which amazes me - and most of them by senior players.

"It's going to be an interesting day in the office on Monday.

"Gloucester took their foot off the gas in the second half and made a few changes and allowed us back into the game, which was nice for us but it probably hid the errors and the ill-discipline we showed in the first half.

"We got within possible bonus-point range and then gave away another stupid penalty and we lost the chance of two bonus points.

"I think Gloucester will be disappointed. We may have scored three tries to two but our discipline was absolutely ridiculous. Some of them were so stupid I can't believe they will make the same mistakes again."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys understandably preferred to focus on the man who punished those mistakes.

"I thought Billy was outstanding," he said. "The goal-kicking speaks for itself - he didn't miss a kick on his run-through last night and he was outstanding tonight.

"He kicked well, led the team well, defended well and kept his composure when we came under a little bit of pressure in the second half.

"He hasn't let the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup affect him and he's played a huge part in pre-season and that's why we awarded him the captaincy.

"We made a couple of small mistakes in the second half and once Newcastle got back in the game and created some momentum, we just couldn't get and hold onto the ball. But credit to Newcastle for that - they dug in and gave us a little bit of scare.

"We would have taken any sort of victory, bearing in mind that we were standing here at this stage last season having been on the end of a 50-point drubbing. This is the confidence-boosting start that we need."


From Belfast Telegraph