Director of rugby Dean Richards was left disappointed after a hard fought match against Sale ended with a loss for his team at Kingston Park yesterday.
Director of rugby Dean Richards admitted Sale Sharks' 70th minute winner had been “an absolute killer” as Newcastle Falcons fell 18-13 in Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash.
Danny Cipriani's chip-and-chase from turnover ball eventually saw Jonny Leota dotting down a length-of-the-field try, Richards saying: “Our choice of options was wrong sometimes, as was our execution, and that second try was an absolute killer.
“We were five metres from their line and just needed to hold on, but they turned it over, pass, pass, chip and they were away. It was a 14-point passage of play in some respects, and if we had just held on for one more phase we probably would have scored.
He added: “It was incredibly disappointing to lose that game, even if I can't fault the boys' effort.
“Their first try was reasonably well worked, but you can't have people jumping out of the defensive line the way we did.
“The second one was just a turnover when we were five metres from their line, and ordinarily we would have kept it and scored.
“It is just one of those things, and in that last 20 minutes we had most of the territory and possession. The boys put in a real shift, and I was really pleased in that respect.”
Despite Danny Cipriani grabbing many of the national headlines Richards was quick to credit the many positive aspects in his own side's performance, not least the try-scoring contribution of Juan Pablo Socino.
The Newcastle boss said: “Cipriani is a class player who had two good centres outside him and a good scrum-half feeding him, but I thought Juan Pablo was outstanding for us.
“Scotty Wilson for a 21-year-old played really well, as did youngsters like George McGuigan, Dom Barrow and Calum Green in the tight five.
“With another two in the back-row it is looking like a good pack here for the next few years provided we can keep everyone together, which I am pretty sure we can do.
“There are a huge amount of positives to take, and a lot of the lads performed well.
“Simon Hammersley from the bench showed why we think so highly of him, Alex Tait had done alright before that and on the wings I felt Sinoti and Alex Tuilagi fronted up.
“That little bit of patience and the understanding of how to finish things off is what was lacking, and once we get that we will be turning over sides reasonably easily. We just need to tidy things up.”
With the Falcons heading straight back into European action with their home fixture against Stade Francais this Friday, the coaching staff and playing squad will be keen to put Sunday’s game behind them and focus ahead as they look to continue the club’s unbeaten run in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Richards said: “We have two big weeks of European rugby ahead of us and of course it will be difficult to have such a short turnaround between games, but we’ll be looking at a lot of different players for Friday’s game.
“We really want to give some of the younger guys a bit of experience in the European competition and they certainly haven’t let us down so far.”
Friday’s game against Stade Francais kicks off at 8pm at Kingston Park. Tickets for the game are available to purchase now from £15 for adults and £7.50 for juniors online, from the Falcons’ 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or in person from the club’s East Stand Ticket Office.