Fred Burdon says Newcastle Falcons need to get back on the horse after starting their European Challenge Cup campaign with a 45-0 reverse at Ospreys on Friday night.
The centre captained the side on his first team debut following the culmination of a successful trial spell, saying after the final whistle at the Liberty Stadium: “There is certainly a lot to work on from our perspective.
“Ospreys were physical, as we knew they would be, and it was a tough game. Justin Tipuric scored a good try, as did Rhys Webb, but we want to be competing with these guys – matching them and going past them. We want to be coming to these places and turning teams over, but we need to go away and have a good hard look at this.
“There were collective issues and individual responsibility issues. Everyone will see areas where they can get better, and that is how we are going to react to this result. The beauty of rugby is that there is a game every week, and we have the Grenoble match at home on Sunday. We have got to turn around and put on a much better show.”
Burdon added: “There is a massive sense of disappointment among the boys. We came here to get a win, or at least to take points out of it. We have been taught a lesson, and nobody in that changing room is too chuffed despite at times having shown some great bits. Some of the lads did step up, but we want to go far beyond what we showed tonight.
“Some of our goal-line defence, our scrap and scramble, was good. Our scrum went well, Sam Lockwood and Andrew Foster laid down a marker there when they came on but I don’t think anyone can honestly say they put in an 80-minute performance. When you’re up against guys of that quality you need to do it for the full 80.”
Reflecting on his own achievement of skippering the side on his first team bow, the Newcastle native said: “Looking back at it at some time in the future I will probably appreciate it a bit more.
“It’s tough after a result like that to find too much to be happy about, but once that does die down I’m sure I will realise what it meant. I just want to represent this club as well as I can. That means getting wins and putting in performances, so you can see why it’s pretty disappointing at the moment.
“We definitely have the character to bounce back, though. We had a big setback at Bath earlier in the season and we didn’t let it affect us. The perfect response is to beat Grenoble next Sunday.”