Dean Richards hailed Newcastle Falcons' set-piece effort during Saturday's 22-10 loss at Leicester Tigers, but insists they need to maintain the patience which put them into an early 10-point lead.
A try from Nili Latu and five points from the boot of Craig Willis rewarded the visitors' early form, but the Tigers hit back with tries from Telusa Veainu, Peter Betham and Laurence Pearce to deny the Director of Rugby's men a share of the points.
Richards said: “We probably deserved something from the game but we need to have a little bit more patience in attack, and we didn't have that.
“In the first 20 minutes we showed that patience and caused problems for Leicester. Once we stopped doing that the game went to pot a little bit. We were forced to defend for long periods and even when we did get the ball we tended to lose it after three or four phases.”
He added: “It comes back to that ability to get into our shape and show patience, but we lost that after about 25 minutes.
“It comes down to that little bit of accuracy. They had a few line out drives next to our line which I thought we defended really well. We were very strong in the set-piece and defensively at times we were outstanding.
“I thought Leicester probably deserved a couple more tries because they butchered two, but at the same time we probably deserved a little more out of it.”
Dominating the scrum and playing a keen part in the line out battle, Richards said: “Our set piece was really good, and when we got into our shape we caused them problems.
“When we played within our structure they found it difficult to combat us, and we created a lot of opportunities. The downside was that we went away from it after 20 minutes.
“Jon Welsh is doing incredibly well, George McGuigan and Scott Lawson go well at Hooker whichever one of them plays, and Bobby Vickers is a bit of an unsung hero on that Loose Head side.
“The front row are doing incredibly well, and when you consider we had Mark Wilson and Sean Robinson behind them in the engine room I thought the boys acquitted themselves really well in the scrum.
“Everybody raised an eyebrow about Nili Latu playing No 8, but he has actually played a lot there. In Japan they tended to build the team around him there, and to have guys like him and Ally Hogg there gives you the best of both worlds because they are both creative players.”
Crediting his former club Leicester for the way they battled back, Richards said: “We thought going into the game they were playing really well, and you only had to look at their two results against Munster to see that.
“We felt they would make a couple of changes, which they did do, but having said that they do have quality players to bring in. Their depth is incredible, so it was always a challenge, but I think on the whole we rose to it.”
The Falcons are next in action next Saturday, 2nd January against Bath at Kingston Park Stadium. Click here for more information and to buy tickets for that game.