Director of rugby Dean Richards rued his side’s slow start as Newcastle Falcons fell to a 49-33 Gallagher Premiership defeat at Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
The Falcons shipped four tries inside the opening half-hour to give themselves a mountain to climb, winning the second half but having to make do with a four-try bonus point.
Richards said: “You just can’t give a team a head start like that in a league like this, and we were always going to pay for that.
“Big players made big errors, and even though we actually won the second half we still missed a boat-load of opportunities for further tries.
“We knew there was going to be a reaction from Leicester after everything that has gone on this week in terms of changing their head coach, but we didn’t go out there with the right intentions. We gave ourselves too much to do after that opening half-hour, by which time they were four tries up.
“There were so many opportunities out there for us to get out of it more than what we did, and we’re nowhere near satisfied with a bonus point. We should have had a penalty try, we missed a load of other chances but we’re not making excuses. The truth is that we just didn’t turn up at the start."
Showing plenty of spirit during a second half in which they were the dominant force for long spells, Richards added: “At half-time we said it was quite easy to score tries against them, but the sad thing was it was even easier for them to score against us.
“The Gallagher Premiership is a great competition and there’s simply no respite. Worcester away will be a tough game next weekend, but we’ll pick ourselves up and look to get that win.”
Fly-half Toby Flood, having played against his former club, echoed Richards’ frustration, saying: “I don’t think anyone in our team can honestly hold their hand up and say they had a good game – myself included.
“We made key errors, and lots of them. The most annoying thing was that during the times when we strung some phases together we scored tries quite easily, but we didn’t do it for anywhere near long enough.”
The Falcons’ next home game is against Exeter Chiefs on Friday September 21. To book your tickets click here.