Richards disappointed at failure to reward fans
The Devon side departed Kingston Park Stadium with a 32-19 triumph in front of a season-high gate of 8,061, the Falcons leading 8-7 on the half-hour but trailing for the remainder of an attritional Aviva Premiership encounter.
Newcastle’s director of rugby said afterwards: “The crowd were fantastic, they turned up in numbers and the disappointment from our end is that we didn’t give them the performance we wanted to.
“The feeling is one of frustration, more than anything. We scored a couple of nice tries, and we should have scored more. We missed a couple of kicks at a critical time in the game, but at the same time it wasn’t the kicks that probably cost us, it was the discipline to go out and execute what we said we would do.”
Richards, whose side scored tries through Scott Lawson and Alex Tait, said: “When you give a side a seven-point head start and concede too many dull penalties you get what you deserve, and we have got to look at ourselves more so than them.
“If we had the patience and the discipline at certain times it might have been different, but we didn’t, and we gave them too much. We didn’t get anything from the referee, but you can’t blame that on a night like this. You have got to take control of the situation, and we didn’t do that. On too many occasions we lacked discipline or patience, and turned over the ball too easily. Against a side like Exeter you get punished for that.
“Our accuracy in executing what we said we were going to do – we just didn’t do it on the night. For the first seven or eight minutes we barely saw the ball, other than when we gave a penalty away.
“It is one of those things whereby you reflect on it and you look back on it, and you say actually if we had been a little bit more disciplined and looked after the ball, did what we had set out to do, it probably would have been a different result altogether. But we didn’t, and we have to look at ourselves.
“Exeter are a side who play a good brand of rugby. You have got to appreciate what they bring to the table, but on the night we made more errors than they did.”