Director of rugby Dean Richards spoke of the frustration throughout the camp after Newcastle Falcons fell to a 22-21 home LV= Cup defeat to Cardiff Blues on Friday.
Failing to build on a 21-7 half-time lead, Richards admitted: “The first and second halves were chalk and cheese. We were delighted with a lot of what we did early on, and disappointed with what happened afterwards. “We lost our composure during that second half, Ruki Tipuna's sin-binning threw us a little and the boys fell apart."
Addressing the assembled media shortly after addressing his team Richards revealed the post match debrief was relatively straightforward.
“Afterwards we just sat down and talked about how frustrated we were with the second-half performance, and the lads were disappointed with themselves. There was no real need to go on and on about it, but they sat down there in the changing rooms knowing they hadn't performed after half-time.”
He added: “We controlled the first half and probably should have gone in with more points on the board. In fact, we definitely should have done. At half-time we sat down and talked through the processes, and left it to the boys to resolve any other issues."
“We came out for the second half and conceded two tries with Ruki in the sin-bin, and it was almost game over at that point although we missed our penalties at the end.”
With Cardiff scoring a pair of tries during Tipuna's 10-minute absence, Richards said: “For the second week in a row sin-bins have massively cost us, but we have not had many cards compared to a lot of sides. The understanding of what a yellow card does is something we need to work on, and it was needless as well.
“The way in which we allowed them back into the game was the most disappointing aspect, and was really frustrating when you are sat in the stand unable to do anything about it. It was just that bit of game understanding we lacked, and Cardiff were never going to counter. If they weren't going to counter why did we just have two people in the back-field? We just didn't react to it at all."
“You can sit in the stand and pass messages on, but if they aren't acted upon it is never going to happen. You would expect more from the guys who came on, but there you go.”