MacLeod frustrated by Sale loss

Friday 19 November 2021 Written by: Adam

A late try from Rouban Birch sealed the game as the Falcons failed to capitalise on a five-metre scrum with the last play, MacLeod saying: “It’s a massive disappointing result.

“We didn’t have a great first half, the 50-50 balls didn’t seem to go our way and we failed to execute some of the stuff we’d worked on during the week.

“We gave away some soft tries, our kick-chase was indifferent at times but we fought our way into the game and were right in it going into those last ten minutes.

“Our own mistakes cost us in the end because we had opportunities to win it, and even with the disappointment of the result I’m proud of the way the boys stuck in.”

Elaborating on the reasons for the result, the Scot added: “We weren’t playing in the right areas at times in the first half even though we had a lot of the ball, and I just felt like we got beat in that kick battle.

“Sale were coming off the line quickly in defence, so fair play to them, they put us under massive pressure. We got ourselves back into it after half-time, but they just had enough in the end.

“I thought we made it quite obvious what we were doing at times, and we didn’t have the deception that you need. We just chucked the ball along the line too often, although to be fair in that second half boys started running straighter and getting over the gain line.”

Having beaten Wasps in their opening pool game in the competition going into the AJ Bell Stadium encounter, MacLeod said: “Overall, over the course of these two matches, I think we’ve played some decent rugby at times and given opportunities to guys.

“It’s been useful in that sense, although obviously the result tonight is disappointing.”

With former Gloucester prop Nick Wood refereeing a men’s professional game for the first time, MacLeod said: “I thought the referee had a very good game overall and got most things right, but that was a big call at the end which we felt he got wrong when we had the scrum near their line.

“If he’d seen our nine getting a WWE move done to him when he didn’t have the ball then maybe things would have been different, but as I say, I thought overall he was actually very good.

“There was one lineout in the corner which annoyed me when we went in with four men and they defended with five, which he didn’t penalise, but you’ve just got to get on with these things and not use them as excuses.

“I’m frustrated for the boys because they trained hard all week, implemented a lot of good stuff, but it just hasn’t come off on the night.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next game is at home to Worcester Warriors, with tickets available for the Gallagher Premiership clash by [**clicking here**][1].