Director of rugby Dean Richards said a lack of first-half accuracy played a large part in Saturday’s 46-25 Aviva Premiership loss at Harlequins.
The Falcons trailed 21-6 at the midway stage, scoring three second-half tries at the Twickenham Stoop but coming away empty-handed.
Richards said: “We are disappointed, really. It is what might have been, had we not gifted them the three tries in the first half. The first one was an interception, the second was at the front of a line-out whereby they took our Taione Vea and the third came from a tap-back at a line-out five metres from our line.
“Had we not gifted them those three tries it is what might have been, and it was probably that lack of accuracy which has haunted us all year.”
The Falcons’ boss added: “You have to react those things, and we didn’t quite do that.
“The interception pass was never on, we knew they were going to have a go at the front of the line-out and we just need to be stronger on that. The tap-back at the line-out needed to a quicker reaction and that lack of accuracy dogged us all game.”
On his side’s improved second-half after the break, the former Quins chief said: “We probably showed them too much respect in the first half.
“Harlequins are not a bad side when you look at all the names, and in the second half we said we were not prepared to show them too much respect as we had done earlier on. We played with a bit more endeavour, it showed and we scored three good tries.
“I thought we looked pretty sharp during that period but then we lost Sean Robinson to the sin bin, gave away a few penalties and started chasing the game. We didn’t need to do that, they converted their chances and that was the end of the contest.”
Now preparing for a pivotal home clash with bottom club London Irish at Kingston Park on Sunday April 17, Richards said: “It will be a big game against Irish – it really will. We will see what unfolds, but they are all big games for us. Massive, in fact.”
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