London Irish boss Glenn Delaney was left frustrated at the final whistle after seeing his Exiles ship five tries against Newcastle Falcons and end their LV= Cup campaign winless.
After a promising start to the game in which they led: London Irish conceded five times as Will Welch, Alesana Tuilagi, Ally Hogg (twice) and Jamie Helleur all touched down for the Falcons in what turned out to be a one-sided encounter.
What made the result all the more surprising was Newcastle showed a total of 13 changes to the team that ran out 39-19 winners over Sale Sharks at Kingston Park last weekend, with Eric Fry and Scott MacLeod the two unchanged names.
Delaney said: “Our execution of basic skills wasn't really up to the required level and I think we gave easy opportunities to have points scored against us.
“If you're going to miss that many tackles then you'll be under pressure, some of the errors we made put more pressure on us than we should have had.
“Not withstanding that we've rotated the squad pretty heavily over the last month. The guys who finished the European block are pretty jaded so we needed to freshen-things up and give others an opportunity.
“There are things to work on but we remain optimistic about where we're trying to get to over the next three or four months.
“The ability to give guys an opportunity to play is the key. We were nice and composed early on and got into the right areas of the pitch then we had some set piece malfunctions which are maybe due to the fact that some of the guys haven't played a lot together.”
Despite seeing his side produce a memorable away-day win; Falcons boss Dean Richards admits there’s still plenty for his side to work on before they return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action.
“The boys were a little bit rusty in places,” he said. “It’s frustrating, we came in at half time and there were 12 turnovers and we’ll look for no more than that in a game let alone a half.
“We pushed the game a little too much; we need to look at playing the game with that fluidity, that composure and that patience we’ve been playing with for the last two to three months.
“That was the frustrating point – we were trying to play too much.
“When we look over it on the whole there were some really good bits to take out of it but we have to do that for 80 minutes rather than 20 we did today.
“There were a lot of guys who hadn’t played for two to three weeks and it showed.
“Some of the guys who have been playing have been playing extremely well so it’s a nice problem to have and we’ll see what side we get out next week. We’ve got some hard games coming up.”
London Irish: Homer; Ojo (Brophy-Clews, 61), Sheridan, Griffin (Mulchrone, 56), Short, Dorrian, O’Leary (Allinson, 55); Halavatau, Stevens (Mahew, 56), Aulika (Palframen, 56), Rouse (Lyons 47), Cox, Low, Gilsenan (Curry, 65), Leo
Not Used: Dowding
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Sinoti (Tait, 51), Powell, Socino, Tuilagi (Helleur, 60), Catterick, Blair (Davies, 51); Fry (Vickers, 33), Lawson (Hawkins, 57), Wilson, Green (Barrow, 58), MacLeod, Wilson, Welch (Mayhew, 72), Hogg
Not Used: Rogers
Penalties: Dorrian 2
Tries: Welch, Tuilagi, Hogg 2, Helleur
Conversions: Catterick 3
Referee: Ben Whitehouse
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