Newcastle Falcons need to find a killer instinct to go with their clinical finishing, according to director of rugby Dean Richards.
With 42 Aviva Premiership Rugby tries this season – more than Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby – the Falcons are not lacking a cutting edge.
However, after losing 16-12 at home to Leicester – despite scoring two tries to their visitors’ one – Richards admitted a certain ruthlessness is lacking.
"The boys put their heart and soul in it and they do every weekend, but when we have a chance to put our foot on the throats of the opposition we have got to make that happen,” he said.
"It's all about our understanding of the game and game management. We had so much possession, so much territory and enough line breaks to kill them off and we didn't so that's our fault.
"That's the seventh game in 13 this year that we have scored more tries than the opposition – that's a hell of a stat when you score more tries and lose seven games – it's frustrating to say the least."
Scott Lawson and Sinoti Sinoti each crossed over for the Falcons before the break at Kingston Park, with Leicester boasting just two Freddie Burns penalties.
However, the visitors emerged from half-time determined to overturn Newcastle and they did exactly that, courtesy of a third Burns penalty and Tommy Bell’s converted try six minutes from time.
It was not a classic display from the Tigers, who have struggled to cross the line of late – indeed their Aviva Premiership Rugby try tally of 25 is only better than that of bottom club London Welsh.
But director of rugby Richard Cockerill insisted they got the better of a strong Falcons side and could afford to be pleased with the result.
"Newcastle played really well. They have a brand of rugby which suits them on that pitch,” he said.
"We played as well as they let us, but we found a way to win even with the disruption of losing Tom Croft with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.
"That we managed to find a way to win having been on the back foot for large parts of the game is credit to the boys and a lot of credit also goes to Newcastle – they played really well."
Newcastle Falcons: Tait, Sinoti, Powell, Socino (Tiesi 64), Tuilagi (Cato 75), Catterick, Tipuna (Takulua 75), Wilson, Welch, Mayhew (Saull 75), Thompson (Furno 41), Barrow, Rogers, Lawson (Hawkins 75), Vickers
Replacements not used: O’Donnell, Irving
Leicester Tigers: Tait, Morris (Bell 42), Goneva, Bai (Roberts 67 (Mele 74)), Thompstone, Burns, Harrison, Pearce (Crane 51), Gibson, Croft (Salvi 36), Parling, De Chaves, Mulipola (Balmain 59), Youngs (Ghiraldini 59), Ayerza (Rizzo 59)
Tries: Lawson, Sinoti
Penalties: Burns 3
Referee: Luke Pearce
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