Dean Richards rued Newcastle Falcons’ indiscipline as five Lloyd Evans penalties helped consign them to a 29-20 defeat at Gloucester on Saturday.
Speaking after the Kingsholm clash, the director of rugby said: “It was 15-5 on the penalty count right up until the end, when we got the couple of penalties which allowed us to get the consolation try.
“A penalty-count like that just isn’t good enough, and it wasn’t the referee’s fault.
“I’m disappointed with how we didn’t play to the officials, because it’s something we’d spoken about and it’s probably cost us the game.
“It was two tries apiece, we had 54% possession and 62% territory, and you should really be winning the game from that position.
“We gave away penalties in twos and threes, and a big part of it was the fact we couldn’t get on the front foot. It was very disappointing from that side.”
With his side scoring tries through Ben Stevenson and Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Richards said: “I actually quite enjoyed the game, setting aside the disappointment around the result.
“I think the people who came through the turnstiles will go away thinking they’ve seen a decent contest, but we’re obviously unhappy with the outcome.
“It’s the second time we’ve come a cropper with the referee this season – and that’s our fault, not Wayne Barnes’. We just need to tidy up in that area, because until we do we’re not playing on a level wicket.
“On the plus side, I thought our half-backs did well when they came on.
“Joel Hodgson offers us something different and it was nice to be able to call upon him for the first time this season, and then Cam Nordli-Kelemeti also made a big contribution.
“He scored his first try for the club, which is great for him, and he took his chance. He’s had to be patient with being behind good players in Louis Schreuder, Micky Young and Sam Stuart, but he got just over half an hour and I thought he did well.”
Taking the time to give some of his regulars a breather, Richards explained: “We’ve got a bye week in the Premiership so some boys will be getting a well-deserved rest, but we’ve also got a game against Southern Knights up in Melrose on Friday.
“That will be a good opportunity for a number of boys to come in and show us what they can do, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Tickets for the Southern Knights game are available by clicking here.