sport

Richards vows to ring changes

Dean Richards promised Newcastle's fans a team with a different attitude next season after the Falcons were beaten again by Exeter Chiefs.

Just under 5,000 supporters turned up to see the Falcons lose 23-13 to Exeter in their final game of the season, their 16th successive Aviva Premiership defeatm and Richards intends to change matters next season, underlining that with the signing of the Tuilagi brothers Alesana and Anitelea last week.

"There will be a different game plan next year," said Richards.

"Andy and Alex are quality acquisitions and have bags of experience at the very highest level.

"It's been a very difficult season for us but we have some new players coming in alongside the Tuilagis and what you will see will be a different side to this season.

"The way we play next season will also be different, it would be stupid not use the capabilities of the players we have signed. We will play with more punch in the back line was well as up front."

Newcastle conceded three tries to Exeter and did not touch down themselves until stoppage time.

"We've lost a few games this season by just a few points and it's been a very frustrating season," said Richards.

"Exeter controlled the game better then we did and took their chances. They were happy to nail us down and play in the right areas and we didn't have that capability."

Newcastle started well and were 6-0 up thanks to a brace of penalties from Joel Hodgson, but Exeter scored two close-range tries in the first half through Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ben White, while Henry Slade added a conversion and two penalties to give the Chiefs an 18-6 lead.

Fetu Vainikolo add Exeter's third try in the 79th minute, which ensured number eight Mark Wilson's score in stoppage time, with Phil Godman converting, was merely consolation for Newcastle.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter was delighted his side bounced back after last week's heartbreaking 30-29 defeat to Harlequins.

"It was a really pleasing result," he said. "We didn't start very well and were six points down but we recovered to dominate the game and we did the right things when we needed to - we don't always do that.

"We had a chance to take a bonus point at the end which is why we played the way we did and we have to learn to take these chances.

"We're relatively happy with the way the season has gone. We held our own for most of the season and we won a cup. Okay we faded a little at the end but that's hardly surprising."