Co-captain Connor Collett

Walder frustrated by home loss to Bath

Saturday 26 February 2022

Head coach Dave Walder admitted he was a frustrated figure following Saturday’s 30-25 home loss to Bath.

Joe Cokanasiga’s 77th minute try shaded a close-cut Gallagher Premiership encounter at Kingston Park Stadium, with Walder saying: “It’s a big disappointment, because that was a game which was there for us to win.

“We were pretty ill-disciplined in the second half and didn’t quite nail our exits.

“You give a team like Bath enough possession in your own half, and they’ll eventually hurt you.

“We did pretty well to hold out as long as we did, but unfortunately again it was the same as last week.”

Leading 18-11 at the interval, Walder said: “At half-time we were fairly happy with how we’d been playing, in terms of where we were on the field and how we were using it.

“We talked about discipline being key and not letting them piggy-back around the field, but we shot ourselves in the foot at times – whether that was through our exits, or making decisions around the breakdown which went on to cost us.

“That gave Bath a foot-hold in the game, and if you give a team a load of line-outs in your 22 then eventually you’re going to concede.

“I also take some of that responsibility as a coach, and maybe I could have set some things up slightly differently or made certain calls at different times.

“I’ll reflect on that, and it’s not all on the players. They’re out there making decisions on the hoof, but we’ll take a look at the game as a coaching group and adjust things where we feel we need to.

“We’ll look back at key moments. There was a line-out near the start of the second half where we didn’t score, and then we put ourselves quickly under pressure. Those kind of moments are big in games, and we’ll look at that to understand how we can be better.”

Asked about the incident which saw Bath No.8 Nathan Hughes only shown a yellow card for a tackle which looked very similar to the one for which Callum Chick was red-carded the previous week, Walder was philosophical.

“It is what it is,” he said.

“Referees have tough decisions to make – they spent a bit of time looking at it and ultimately decided Pete Lucock had dipped his head going into contact.

“That’s the way it goes, and we can’t control things like that.”

Now heading down to London for their next assignment, the former England fly-half added: “It’s never easy when you’re in a run like ours, but we’ve got to dust ourselves down on a short turnaround and go down to Harlequins on Friday.

“Playing away against the champions is a great challenge, the boys will be up for it and we haven’t got time to lick our wounds. We’ll turn up on Monday ready to go, putting in a big week going down to the Stoop.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday March 12 when Saracens are the visitors to Kingston Park Stadium.

Click here to buy tickets for the 3pm Gallagher Premiership kick-off.

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