Jamie Gibson says that the final 10 minutes were crucial in the narrow Aviva Premiership loss at Kingston Park.
The Saints came up against a Falcons outfit that was visibly surfing on the crest of a confidence wave created by five successive wins and which used their opening score as the springboard for another important win in their battle against the drop.
Gibson crossed in the first half, but while Lee Dickson added two more tries after the break these sandwiched a trio of Andy Goode penalties which gave the home team a 15-point buffer they needed to withstand what would have been a dramatic comeback from the Saints.
Indeed, the visitors’ Tom Kessell was denied what would have been a sensational match winning score two minutes from time by a timely interjection from the final Falcons defender, and Gibson said it was missing chances like that which denied the Saints the four points.
“We got close to within one point with 10 minutes to go, and if we’d taken our chances in those 10 minutes we’d probably have won the game,” he told SaintsTV. “It’s frustrating and disappointing to have given them a head start; they’re a good side and you can’t do that with good sides.
“They’ve got a well-drilled pack, some dangerous backs, and Andy Goode kicks his points and pins you in the corners. They’ve caused a lot of sides problems and have now won six on the bounce at home. We knew it was going to be a tough place to play and as I said if you give sides a head start you’re going to struggle.
“For the last 60 minutes we built the game as we wanted to, but there were times where we didn’t help ourselves, shooting ourselves in the foot. We perhaps played a bit too loosely for what we needed to do, but if you look at individual aspects of the game then there were positives to take from it.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the result in the end.”
Every game matters even more in the Aviva Premiership, as does every point and every voice, so make yourself heard when the Saints host Worcester at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday afternoon.
There is double-the-rugby on offer, too, with England’s Six Nations clash with Ireland being shown live from Twickenham in the bars at Franklin’s Gardens from 4:50pm.