Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards refused to blame the referee for Saturday’s defeat to Saints, despite admitting officials are always ‘a little bit one-eyed’ when his team travel to face Northampton.
Ironically, the referee in charge of the game at stadium:mk was Dean Richards, who opted to yellow card Falcons flanker Todd Clever during the second half.
And the 10-minute period while Clever was off the field proved costly for Newcastle, who conceded two tries in the space of three minutes.
They were eventually beaten 42-16, having gone in at half-time just seven points behind, and Richards was disappointed with how his team fared with 14 men.
“At half-time we were 16-9 down and in with a chance,” the Falcons boss said.
“If we’d have stuck to our tasks then I’d have been quite happy, but our lineout fell apart and with that went all accuracy in most other areas.
“It was really disappointing and with us losing Todd to the sin bin, they scored twice in that period.
“We shouldn’t be conceding the penalties and if they do score a try, they shouldn’t be scoring two. One is enough.
“It’s symptomatic of where we are at the moment in time. There are some boys who don’t react to how the referee referees.
“You’re always going to get a referee who is a little bit one-eyed when you play down at Northampton so you’ve got to be right on your mettle and not give them anything - and our boys didn’t do that.
“You can’t blame the referee at all - you know exactly what you’re up against.
“I had the pleasure of playing for Leicester for 14, 15 years and knew exactly what it was like for a referee to come to a place like that.
“As an away side, you know what you’re up against so you’ve got to be whiter than white.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green from his point of view but you can’t blame him for how the game unfolded on the day.”