Walder reflects on Bath loss

Saturday 05 November 2022 Written by: Adam

A late Brett Connon penalty rescued a losing bonus point on a disappointing afternoon of Gallagher Premiership rugby, with Walder admitting his side had simply not got going.

The head coach said: “We as coaches have obviously got it wrong over the past two weeks in how we’ve prepared the team, because we weren’t at it today.

“We looked short on energy, and there’s no excuse for that because we haven’t played for the best part of three weeks.

“We as a coaching group have to analyse what we put into the players from a physical perspective, because it hasn’t worked, and that’s not like us. Energy has rarely been an issue for this group, but for whatever reason we were just off it today.

“That aside, it was just a lack of basic skills, and we didn’t give a proper account of ourselves.”

Refusing to the blame the elements on a rainy afternoon, Walder added: “Yeah, conditions were tough, but I thought we actually started the game pretty well.

“We weren’t clinical, we had a couple of opportunities where if we’d taken the points things might have been different, but we made our decisions and didn’t execute properly. As a result we found ourselves under pressure, and in the second half when we were under further pressure it was just that lack of basics that really cost us.

“Bath hung in there during the spells where we had some decent attacking territory, and they made us pay.”

At least taking the consolation of a losing bonus point thanks to Brett Connon’s late penalty, Walder said: “I sit in the coaching box wanting to see tries, and when we got the penalty at the end my immediate thought was ‘stick it in the corner’.

“But fair play, we leave those decisions to the players, and on reflection it was the right call.

“On days like this when you haven’t been firing for whatever reason you just have to take your medicine, and if that means kicking at goal to get a bonus point then fair enough.

“It’s not what we’re about, especially at home, but the win was gone by that stage and you just have to be pragmatic in terms of taking something from the game.”

Asked about the lengthy injury stoppage which saw George Wacokecoke stretchered from the field, Walder said: “He’s off to the RVI for an X-ray so we don’t quite know yet, but it doesn’t look great and unfortunately he’ll likely be on the sidelines for a while.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday November 19 when they host Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

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