Geordan Murphy said it was “hugely disappointing” to take no more than one point from a four-try show against Racing 92 in Paris on Sunday.
Jonah Holmes, Sione Kalamafoni, Manu Tuilagi and Adam Thompstone were the tryscorers in the Heineken Champions Cup Round 3 fixture, but it was Racing who took maximum points from a 36-26 outcome in the French capital.
“We conceded a bit too easily in the first half and gave ourselves a mountain to climb, but we asked the boys to stick in and I was really proud of them for that and in the end we were still going,” said Murphy.
“I’m never going to be happy with a loss, but I'm pleased that we did a lot of the things we talked about and when things went against us a little bit we stuck at it and played for each other.”
Murphy used scrum-half Ben White as an example of the commitment from the squad who fought back from 12-0 down early on to get a foothold in the game and had to come through two periods down to 14 men with Tuilagi and Ellis Genge spending time in the sin-bin.
“There’s Ben White, a young 9 who has played 60 minutes there and given everything, we were playing him on the wing in the end and he’s making line-breaks and getting stuck in, and I was really proud of his performance and a lot of boys’ performances,” said Murphy.
“It is a tough place to come and get something. I’m disappointed we didn’t get more but we’ll take the point.”
Murphy confirmed that Matt Smith had suffered a dislocated shoulder which led to the reshuffle in a backline which had already lost Jonah Holmes to a head knock in the first half.