sport

No complaints from Richards

Dean Richards was more than happy with Newcastle's four-try winning performance against LV= Cup opponents Newport in tricky conditions.

Director of rugby Richards chose to put out his strongest possible side in what was essentially a dead rubber, with Argentinian centre Gonzalo Tiesi making a belated debut after being injured playing against England shortly after signing for the Falcons.

Tiesi made a successful comeback and Richards said: "I was pleased with Gonzo's first game and he showed some really nice touches. He is a class player."

Tiesi's thunder was stolen somewhat by flanker Mark Wilson underlining his 100th Falcons appearance with a brace of tries in the 29-0 win.

Richards continued: "Mark played well and deserved his man of the match award and I'm happy with the way the game went.

"The first half with the wind behind us - and it was quite strong - we played well in the first half and in the right areas of the field and we got the three tries that we wanted.

"In the second half a couple of tries went begging and we had to wait until the last few minutes for the fourth try, but when you're attacking from close in like we were in the first you take your chances easier.

"In the second half we had to play from further out and we had to work a lot harder. We missed at least three chances which we should have nailed - but on the whole I'm happy with the day."

Newport's much-changed side found it difficult to handle the Newcastle pack but did give the Falcons a run for their money after the break until they lost Nic Cudd.

Cudd was sent off for a spear tackle on Adam Powell and Richards added: 'Newport have been playing some really good rugby this year and have been all season in their league.

"They came out and they played their part and really contributed to all areas of the game."

Newport skipper Rob Sidoli agreed. "We didn't cope with Newcastle's pack very well in the first half - and all credit to them for the way they played.

"We really dug in after half-time and made a game of it but it was very disappointing to lose a man like we did. That made it very difficult for us."