Academy Manager Mark Laycock was disappointed after the Falcons A team fell to a narrow 19-21 defeat to Sale Jets on Monday evening.
Leading 19-6 at the break, the Falcons side were unable to fire as effectively in attack during the second half, and enabling the visitors to steal the win through a well taking try 90 seconds from time.
Speaking post match Laycock said: “It’s frustrating, for us as coaches, for the boys and for everyone who came to watch. Sale were the better side for most of the second half if we are honest. They played better rugby than us and we lost our composure and patience.”
“There is a big lesson to be learnt about closing games out. From 19-6 up even to be 19-16 with a couple of minutes to go, after spurning a couple of chances at their end are not the standards we have to set as a group.”
“We have to go and lick our wounds and look at the next challenge, it has to hurt. Todd Clever mentioned in the huddle, this is our home pitch and we should expect more of ourselves. “
In spite of losing out in terms of the result, the game gave an opportunity for a number of the club’s young academy talent to showcase themselves to the Falcons coaching team, with Laycock pleased by the efforts of a number of his charges.
“Some youngsters came on and did really well. James Elliott who is still only 17 came on at half time and did a really good job at scrum half, Tom Grimes from Blaydon came on and hit hard.”
“Brett [Connon]and Ruaridh [Dawson] in the halfbacks did well and put us in good position’s where we played some good rugby on the front foot that was good to watch and was scoring points for us.”
“We lost that a little bit in the second half and we struggled to hold on to the ball for any length of time.”
“Paddy Ryan scrummaged exceptionally well in the first half, Santi Socino did some really good things around the park, Callum Chick was very lively around the park at seven, but it’s a team game and we have to look at the team performance and make sure it matches the efforts of the individuals.”
The Falcons A Team are next in action at Kingston Park on Monday January 4th when they host Leicester Tigers in a 7pm Kick Off.
Spectators will again be welcome to the game, with entry free of charge and via the Tap & Tackle bar in the East Stand.