Walder: Slow starts are costing us dear
The Falcons trailed 19-0 in front of their biggest home crowd of the season, pulling back to 19-19 before the Exiles finished with a flourish.
Speaking after the Gallagher Premiership clash, Walder said: “There’s obviously something that we as coaches aren’t doing because it’s happened two weeks in a row, and we’re working hard to get to the bottom of it.
“Against class sides like Saracens and London Irish you can’t afford to start like we did, although credit to the lads because they battled back and gave ourselves a chance at 19-19.
“The key moment for me was when we kicked a penalty to the corner but lost the line-out at 19-19, and the ball game seemed to turn in London Irish’s favour from there.
“Obviously there are a lot of other factors going into any game of rugby, but that was a huge moment and they pushed on from there. It took the wind out of our sails, and we never recovered from that momentum swing.”
With 8,682 supporters in attendance, Walder added: “It’s doubly disappointing to get such a good crowd and not reward their support with a win.
“Our community team did a great job putting on the junior festival on the morning with more than 1,500 kids from rugby clubs all over the region, and it was awesome seeing so many local rugby clubs being represented in the crowd.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who came along an supported the fixture, and there’s a huge sense of disappointment in the team here that those guys will be going home having seen us lose the game.
“I thought the atmosphere was great, the ground was buzzing and I’m really appreciative of the effort that everyone has made around the club in terms of making that happen.”
Crediting London Irish for their win, Walder said: “They’ve got the fastest ruck speed in the league, a pair of world class half backs, forwards with more than 100 caps to their name and lethal finishers out wide, so they’re a very rounded and dangerous outfit.
“They played very well and you can’t take anything away from them, but at the same time I thought we played into their hands with the lack of intensity we showed and lack of physicality. That’s very unlike us, and we’ll have to look at it as a coaching group in terms of what we got wrong in the lead-up to the game.
“It’s important that we go away and try to find a solution, because that’s two games in a row now where the same thing has happened.”
Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is against Ayrshire Bulls on Friday March 17.
[**Click here**] to buy tickets for the 7.45pm kick-off.