Geordan Murphy described the Leicester Tigers camp as “disappointed, hurt and angry” after a record defeat at Wasps on Wednesday.
With teams facing three league games in eight days, Tigers made wholesale changes to the line-up for the short trip to the Ricoh Arena, but director of rugby Murphy said there could be “no excuses” for the performance in the club’s heaviest Gallagher Premiership loss.
Tigers actually led with a Cameron Henderson scored after just five minutes but trailed 14-7 and half-time and then had no response as Wasps ran in six second-half scores to maintain their place in the top four in the table.
“It’s pretty simple, we’ve got beaten across the park,” said Murphy. “Wasps looked the hungrier side in the second half and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen. Teams cannot want it more than us.
“We started well, we got a try, we turned down an opportunity to go 10 up quite early on when we kicked a penalty to the corner and that showed where our confidence levels were after the start we’d made. We were certainly on it and had done the right things and built some pressure.
“But they started the second half very quickly, we looked a bit shell-shocked, their physicality and intensity went up and we didn’t match that. They beat us in all areas of the pitch in the second half.”
Murphy said the feeling on the sidelines was like being “punched in the face a number of times” as the second-half scores rolled in.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” he added.
“The guys are very disappointed, we are all angry with ourselves because we didn’t get it right.
“We don’t want the fans to think things like this don’t hurt us because they do.
“We simply didn’t come out for the second half, in every area we were beaten by the better side.
“When you give a side as good as Wasps time to flick the ball around, you are going to find yourself on the back-end of a pretty nasty scoreline.
“You saw how much enjoyment they had in the last 10 minutes and we weren’t at the races. When Wasps get two or three scores up they have the freedom to play. You saw the quality and when they are in full flow they were very difficult to stop. They put us to the sword.
“We’ve taken positive steps in all of our previous games but tonight, hands up, we weren’t good enough.”