Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Official - Falcons Have to Become a Bit Smarter; Tipuna Says His Team-Mates Must Deal Better with Refereeing Decisions

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Official - Falcons Have to Become a Bit Smarter; Tipuna Says His Team-Mates Must Deal Better with Refereeing Decisions

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith @markismith50

RUKI Tipuna has told Newcastle Falcons to smarten up when it comes to playing the referee.

The Kiwi scrum-half was part of the side which paid the price for three late penalties in last weekend's 22-17 loss at Saracens, referee Andrew Small earning the ire of the Falcons' management for some of his second-half decisions.

Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingston Park on Sunday as Newcastle aim to haul themselves up from second-bottom in the Premiership, Tipuna insisting they can do themselves a few favours by reining in the temptation to push the laws.

"I am not going to have a go at the referees because it is down to the players to win the game," said the former Bristol and Scarlets man who has scored three tries in his 12 Premiership appearances.

"Yes it can be frustrating when interpretations vary from week to week but we do our analysis on the refs and we know before a game what they tend to blow for.

"We have to be a bit smarter and play the referee better.

"If we know a particular referee is hot on one area then we have to leave that alone and not be sucked in.

"We cannot be blaming referees for losing games. We need to look at what we are doing and just be more clever rather than falling away late in games and making poor decisions. The solution lies with us."

Despite all the plaudits for their improved attacking play the Falcons have still won only one of their last eight in the league, Tipuna adding: "We were disappointed last weekend at Saracens because we have been close to taking a big scalp and we had them on the ropes.

"We just couldn't claw our way back during the second half and that is where we need to learn.

"We have had a few games where we have out-scored teams on tries or made more linebreaks but have not ended up with the win. …

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