GLOUCESTER survived a scare to beat Newcastle Falcons on Saturday and director of rugby Nigel Davies knows they cannot suffer a similar lapse of concentration in future, writes Paddy von Behr.
The Cherry and Whites found themselves 37-7 ahead thanks to tries for Sione Kalamafoni, Rob Cook, James Hudson, Mike Tindall and replacement Jonny May, who scored with his first touch of the ball after returning from England duty.
However the Falcons came roaring back and scored five tries themselves through Chris York, George McGuigan, Andy Saull, Alex Tait and Noah Cato.
And although Gloucester did squeeze out a 40-33 victory at Kingsholm, Davies knows they might not be so lucky next time.
"For 65 minutes, we played some great rugby and then, for 15 minutes, we fell off the side of a cliff," he said.
"It is probably a microcosm of our season where we have played some great rugby but then we have played some average stuff.
"The game is on for 80 minutes and, in that, you have to maintain a level of your discipline and standards and we didn't do that in the last 15 minutes.
"We knew at the end that Newcastle had nothing to lose and we just didn't deal with them. It takes the shine off what, in that first 65 minutes, was a very good performance.
"You can be very positive about it but the last 15 minutes taints the performance. It is very frustrating for everyone and it was a very quiet dressing room."
As for Newcastle, they have now lost 11 Aviva Premiership games on the bounce.
But Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards insists that if his side start games like they finished at Kingsholm then that will soon change.
"The way the boys were playing, had we gone for another ten minutes, it might have been a different result altogether because we were just letting rip by that time," Richards said.
"In the final quarter of the match, we turned it on. They had some of the opportunities they had in the first quarter and this time, they nailed them which is quite nice to see.
"For us, the big thing was making sure we took our chances and, I thought, Joel's kicking was outstanding and the last kick under pressure typified that.
"We said, when we were 37-7 down, let's see what happens if we go for four tries so we went out and got them – then we got a fifth."
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