Saturday 18 May 2013 Written by: Adam

The Falcons were reduced to 14 men twice during a marathon final which culminated in an 18-17 defeat after extra-time.

Noel Reid’s penalty in the final moments of extra-time sealed the trophy for the Dubliners in front of just under 4,000 fans at the home of the Falcons.

“The two yellow cards cost us, and both of Leinster’s tries were scored when we had Ollie Stedman and Taiasina Tu’ifua off the field,” said Richards.

“They were both needless yellow cards, and they cost us massively. People need to understand that discipline is paramount, and there was no need at all for it,” he added.

Reflecting on the positives to come out of the game, Richards acclaimed Zach Kibirige’s try as the best he has seen this season, saying: “I thought Zach’s try at the end of extra-time was a fantastic score, and in my opinion it was the try of the season.

> “I also thought that Richard Mayhew was outstanding in the back-row,
> and Tai [Tu’ifua] made a real impact when he came on.

“Joel Hodgson showed huge composure to slot what seemed at the time to have been the winning conversion.

“As much as we are all disappointed with the result we have to put it aside and look forward to next week against Bedford Blues.”

Newcastle travel to Bedford this Thursday for the first leg of the play-off final, with the second leg taking place at Kingston Park on Wednesday 29 May (kick-off 7.45pm).

Tickets are available for the second leg by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.