Geordan Murphy admitted that Leicester Tigers had missed a big opportunity to move away from the bottom reaches of the Gallagher Premiership table with home defeat by Bristol Bears on Saturday.
With the Bears kicking off the weekend in ninth place in the table on 41 points and Tigers one place behind on 38, Murphy was hoping for a victory which would give his team the impetus to move further with two games remaining in the season.
But a late try from the Bears secured a 23-20 victory over Tigers who dropped to 11th place when Worcester Warriors beat third-placed Gloucester on Sunday.
“The big carrot today was we could jump Bristol and go up the table with two games to go and looking at the top six,” said Tigers head coach Murphy after Saturday’s final whistle.
“Now we are squarely in the bottom three and back in that battle there which is frustrating.”
A try from Jordan Olowofela helped to give Tigers an 11-6 advantage in the opening half-hour and they led 17-11 approaching the hour mark before the Bears fought back to seal a home-and-away double over their rivals.
“It’s a very disappointing result,” added Murphy. “I thought we showed some good skills in scoring a good try and we created a few opportunities in the first half. Then at 17-11 we were in a good place with the wind at our backs.
“But we were a bit indisciplined, turned over too many balls, we didn’t hold the ball long enough in the second half and we made errors. In the second half we let them play too much at us.”