Newcastle Falcons skipper Will Welch admits that improved game management from his side would have seen them hang onto their lead, to record a famous Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Gloucester Rugby on Saturday.
Welch’s side were 17 points to the good with just a quarter of the game remaining, but Billy Twelvetrees, Henry Purdy and Billy Burns all crossed to break Falcons’ hearts.
The loss was their seventh straight in the league, and with just one away Aviva Premiership Rugby victory in the last 18 months, Welch is calling on his side to show more composure next time around.
“It was 60 minutes of a great performance but full credit to Gloucester, they picked up the tempo and played very well,” he told the Newcastle Falcons’ website.
“Their substitutions made a big impact; they picked the pace up and we struggled with that towards the end. It was still in our control though in that last 15 minutes so we have to look at ourselves and see what we could do better.
“A lot of the boys were out on their feet after the effort put in during that 60 minutes and we started to fall off tackles, it’s the story of our season really.
“We could have controlled it a little bit better. We coughed up ball when we were in good field position and we gave them too many soft yards, especially from the kick-offs.
“We let it slip, we have to make sure we concentrate for the full 80 minutes.”
Newcastle remain second-bottom and nine points off tenth-placed London Irish, but despite not having much left to play for this season Welch insists they will not take their foot off the gas.
With two games remaining the 25-year-old flanker wants to see a winning mentality established to give the Falcons something to build from going into next term.
He added: “The effort and determination was outstanding from all the boys and you can never fault that.
“It’s just making sure we get over that line because although performances are good, ultimately it’s all about results.
“We’re playing good rugby and scoring tries but we’re not getting over that line and getting the wins, and that has to be our focus, not only for next year but for the last two games of this one.
“In my eyes, we have got to win them. We have a great opportunity to go and beat Sale away and then Harlequins at home and give ourselves a little bit more confidence going into next season.”
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