Director of Rugby Dean Richards was disappointed but reflective following his side’s 12-16 defeat against Leicester Tigers.
Speaking after a game which saw his team emerge with a single bonus point after a late Tigers try robbed them of the lead, Richards said:
“We should’ve won, with all the possession and chances we had but you have to get points on the board and we didn’t, sadly.
“Our second try was testament to the type of rugby we’re trying to play here, but when we have a chance to put our foot on the throat of the opposition we have to make that happen. Unfortunately some of our decision making and execution today wasn’t great and it’s those little things which make a massive difference in terms of killing the game and killing off the opposition.”
With the Falcons having led the scoring until the 74th minute, the Director of Rugby agreed that there were many positives to take from his side’s performance.
“That first half was the best I’ve seen in terms of understanding what we’re doing and sticking to the game plan. If we’d taken the same composure we had in the first half into the second half we would be standing here now with a pretty big victory under our belts.
“It’s just that little bit of discipline; you can see we’re playing well against sides but it’s about keeping that going. And we can do it, we did it for 40 minutes today, now we have to keep it going for 80 minutes.”
In a week that has seen the Falcons succumb to a number of propping injuries, one positive for Richards was the performance of the Falcons' front row.
“They were fantastic today. I didn’t think we got the rub of the green in terms of those decisions; reputation counts for a lot in those cases and I think that swayed a lot of decisions on the day but our front row played really well and I was very pleased with that.”
After finding themselves on the wrong end of the final score line, Richards admitted that disappointment was palpable in the Falcons' dressing room.
“The boys put their heart and soul into it as they do every week and there’s no doubt about it, there’s a buzz around the team and they want to go out there and play. They’re gutted in terms of this being a game that we should’ve won but it’s a learning curve for us.”
With the team now facing a two week break from Premiership action, the challenge for Newcastle Falcons is a straightforward one.
“We’ve got a couple of weeks to lick our wounds and to get angry really, because we should be angry. We’re playing a lovely brand of rugby but that’s not enough – now we have to start getting those W’s on the board. It’s pretty simple, we just have to make it happen.”