Geordan Murphy says Leicester Tigers needed to be “smarter” to take something out of the Heineken Champions Cup trip to the Scarlets on Saturday.
Tigers were 33-0 down before scoring tries through Will Evans and Mike Fitzgerald in the closing quarter of an hour on a disappointing afternoon at the Parc y Scarlets.
“Everyone worked hard for each other, there were some tired bodies in the end, but we needed to be smarter,” said head coach Murphy as defeat confirmed Tigers would not be able to qualify for the knockout stages.
“We weathered a massive storm in the first half. We hadn’t had any ball and, when we did, we turned it over too many times.
“At half-time we talked about being a bit more physical and about holding on to the ball, but then early on in the second half we were back again, we conceded two cheap tries and effectively the game was done.
“We gave away a couple of silly penalties and they drove us over in the corner, then they scored a nice try and we didn’t have a huge amount to say in response really until the last 15 minutes.
“We weren't getting phases, didn’t put pressure on them, there were too many turnovers from us when we did get ball."
Murphy was able to reflect on performances from some of the younger members of the squad, including 19-year-old prop Joe Heyes in his first European start, and also some senior who have not had a lot of gametime recently, with Valentino Mapapalangi starting in the back row and Greg Bateman at prop after a spell on the sidelines due to injury.
“There are not many 19-year-old tightheads playing in Europe and Joe did a really good job,” said Murphy.
“Jordan Olowofela looked sharp when he had an opportunity, Greg is just back from injury and did well, Tino had some good carries, there were some good performances but it was a disappointing day.”
Tigers host Ulster Rugby in the final game of the pool stages this Saturday. Kick-off at Welford Road is at 3.15pm and tickets are available now.